Can you help save the world sitting on you ass?

July 17, 2010 § 6 Comments

Ways YOU can help save the world from home without getting off your ass.

You may say “People should get off their ass to help!” My response is: Unfortunately, not all of us can. Whether they be physical, financial, social or just plain weird sometimes circumstances make us feel useless and trapped. Helping others is the best way to feel better about your own life. All of the examples I have listed below are free, easy, fun, educational and cool. You will soon forget started doing it to help others. In fact by doing these things you are really helping yourself.

  • Join Zooniverse :
    • Explore the Moon in unprecedented detail using images from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.
    • Help astronomers figure out how galaxies form and evolve by classifying their shape. Now with added Hubble galaxies.Help spot explosions on the Sun and track them across space to Earth. Your work will give astronauts an early warning if dangerous solar radiation is headed their way.Help us to catch an exploding star – astronomers are ready to follow-up on your best candidates at telescopes around the world.
    • How do galaxies merge? Help us find out by visiting Galaxy Zoo Mergers – Explore, Enhance, Evaluate.
  • Join World Community Grid– Donate the power of your computer when it is turned on, but is idle, to projects that benefit humanity! They provide the secure software and system that does it all for free, and you become part of a community that is helping to change the world. Once you install the software, you will be participating in World Community Grid. It’s that simple!
  • Once you have the software installed for Wold Community Grid, you can attach to other projects like: LHC@home is a volunteer computing program which enables you to contribute idle time on your computer to help physicists develop and exploit particle accelerators, such as CERN’s Large Hadron Collider and SETI@home is a scientific experiment that uses Internet-connected computers in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). You can participate by running a free program that downloads and analyzes radio telescope data.
  • TIP: You can run SETI@home and LHC@home on the World Community Grid Platform but not vice versa. So sign up for Wold Community Grid first.

  • Solve Puzzles for Science. Play Fold It, Foldit is a revolutionary new computer game enabling you to contribute to important scientific research including HIV/AIDS, Cancer and Alzheimer’s.
  • Fix Wikipedia – You can personally correct any Wikipedia article. As long as you can cite references, you can add the best available skeptical information to any article that needs it.
  • Be a Martian – The “Be a Martian” tool, a joint project between NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and Microsoft, has by far the sleekest user interface of any crowdsourced Mars exploration program. The science activities are basic but useful: Users can count craters or align images of Mars from two different orbiting cameras, MOLA (Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter) on Mars Global Surveyor and THEMIS (THermal EMission Imaging System) on Mars Odyssey. But the whole thing is couched in a make-believe Martian civilization. You can sign up as a Martian citizen, discuss and vote on issues (basically, ask questions on a message board and give thumbs up to favorite posts), watch videos from JPL in the Two Moons Theater, and send postcards to the rover Spirit. A dramatic introductory video intones, “Mars exploration is a civilization endeavor, no longer restricted to the intrepid few, but to all who wish to share in the journey of discovery…. Join us, and we can work together to create the most comprehensive global mosaic of Mars in human history.
  • If you prefer your Mars exploration straight up, THEMIS has its own, pared-down public mapping project, too.
  • Stardust@Home –Stardust was the first spacecraft to bring home bits of a comet. It returned to Earth on Jan. 15, 2006, carrying chunks of the comet Wild 2 and speckles of stardust — literally bits of interstellar dust born in distant stars. The comet pieces numbered in the thousands and were easy to find. But scientists estimate the spacecraft collected only about 45 particles of stardust, each of which is just a millionth of a meter across. So rather than poring over the 1,000-square-centimeter detector one painstaking microscope frame at a time, the Stardust@Home project uses an automated scanning microscope to make hundreds of thousands of images of the detector, and posts them online. Speck candidates will be ranked based on many different viewings to find the ones most likely to really hold some dust. “No one’s sure what exactly the stardust tracks will look like, so we won’t be able to recognize them until we’ve found one,” the website says. If you discover a bit of stardust, you’ll get your name on the scientific paper announcing it. You’ll also get to name your bit. These nearly invisible bits of dust are important because, as Carl Sagan famously said, “We are starstuff.” The heavy elements that ultimately formed the planets, and us, were built in distant stars, and floated around the interstellar medium as stardust after those stars died. This is the stuff that solar systems are made of.

All of these things are free easy and fun. Most importantly, they all help humanity.  What do you have to lose? Check them out.  I will update this post as I find them. If you know of more ideas like this please let me know I will add them right away.


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§ 6 Responses to Can you help save the world sitting on you ass?

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  • Did you create one or can you make one available for download please? I’d like to know if any such a program exists before manually uploading all my files to Zenfolio the hard way.

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