Posts by rebest

21) Message boards : Politics : Ethanol (Message 1209131)
Posted 23 Mar 2012 by Profile rebest
I estimate Ethanol is raising the cost of food by at least 30%. The reduction of oil usage may be a quite low percentage after subtracting the fuel used to grow, harvest, distill and transport it.

Good God, Bill! We agree. Of course, the reason we agree is that here in the US, the primary source of ethanol is corn. Corn, of course, is an ordinary food staple that has wormed its way into every facet of the American food chain.

Truth is, it's a lousy source of ethanol. A 2009 study found that 22 pounds of corn grain is required to produce 1 gallon of ethanol. To fill the fuel tank of a SUV vehicle with corn ethanol requires a total of 660 pounds of corn or food. This is enough corn to feed two people in a developing country for an entire year. Furthermore, to produce corn ethanol, 46 percent more fossil energy is required to produce a liter of ethanol than than is yielded. Oil therefore must be imported to produce ethanol. As a result, the cost to produce 1 liter of corn ethanol is US$1.05 per liter or US$3.95 per gallon.

There are other, much much more efficient sources of ethanol. Sugar cane is among the best. This is the cornerstone of Brazil's ethanol industry. Another option is Sweet Sorghum, a drought resistant plant that will grow in soil most other foods crops consider miserable. It's stalk contains a sugary liquid that can that can easily be distilled into ethanol. Oh, and the grain produced by the sorghum plant has been eaten for centuries and would be more than welcome by starving populations. Once the stalks have been pressed and the grain harvested, the remnants can be fed to livestock or burned as fuel to distill the alcohol.

You might ask yourself why you've never heard of this or why it isn't a priority to develop this further. Can you say Cargill? Can you say ADM? Can you say Congress?

22) Message boards : Politics : Obama's second term. (Message 1209115)
Posted 23 Mar 2012 by Profile rebest
I think the goal this summer should be $8/gallon.

If the Israelis have their way, we may just get there.
23) Message boards : Politics : Obama's second term. (Message 1207730)
Posted 19 Mar 2012 by Profile rebest
I do have one question that keeps nagging me.

The Republican Party has some very bright, dedicated, honest members who genuinely want the best for the entire country. I have many friends and family members who have proudly called themselves Republicans for many years. Now, I don't always agree with them and they don't always agree with me, but they are very good people.

They are now divided into two camps. The first (smaller) group have decided to vote for Obama. The economy is improving and they believe that with the notable exception of Afghanistan, his handling of foreign policy and the now defunct "War on Terror" has been good. The fact that Osama now swims with the fishes earns him favorable marks.

The second (much larger) group is planning on taking a pass on the Presidential Election entirely. As one friend put it "From a country of over 320 million divided pretty much down the middle, the best the Republican Party can field are Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Mitt Romney?? WTF???"

Frankly, this year the Republicans remind me of the 1972 Democrats.

24) Message boards : Number crunching : The Kitty smoke stop fundraiser....... (Message 1201258)
Posted 1 Mar 2012 by Profile rebest
Good job, Mark. Keep it going.

The GPU Users Group
Computando pro scientia, praestans inter omnes.
Order #: 472
Order Date: 2012-02-29 23:06
Products Subtotal: $100.00
Total for this Order: $100.00

Products on order:
1 x Donation directly to SETI@Home - $100.00
SKU: SETI@Home-direct

Promise kept.

25) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Have you driven a Ford lately? (Message 1193509)
Posted 11 Feb 2012 by Profile rebest
Ford? Yeah. I own one. '98 Taurus. I bought last year it for my #2 son who now drives it to college. Dull, boring, 6 cylinder, white fleet vehicle I picked up cheap in a State government surplus property auction. Most kids would bitch and moan about being stuck with such an old heap, but everything works, we got it all cleaned up, and my kid loves it.

Besides, there was no way in Hell I was going to let a teenager anywhere near my '06 Charger with a 5.7L Hemi!!
26) Message boards : Number crunching : The Kitty smoke stop fundraiser....... (Message 1189494)
Posted 28 Jan 2012 by Profile rebest
So its not only your bad habits that have to be changed.

Keep going Mark there's a whole lot of us out here who are backing you up.

Indeed it is not just the bad habits.

Relax on the couch after a nice meal........shaZaaaaaam.......have a few beers.......shaZaaaaaaam.......whap, whop, who's your daddy?

Tells you that it is the normal everyday habits that trigger the craving. They are the things that give the other dragon strength. Breaking ALL your habits at once involves 'No couch after a nice meal; No 'few beers'. Those are the triggers. The bell that makes the dog salivate.

Why give the dragon attacks of opportunity? The water routine does more than the flushing and scrubbing away of nicotine. It also replaces many of the habits with a new routine, which helps attack both Dragons at once.

All the best of luck Mark. I really am rooting for you. ... and anyone else your lead inspires to follow suit.


Len is absolutely right. The smoking habit becomes integrated with other daily activities, particularly those around food and drink.

Long after I no longer craved cigarettes, I would get a pang every time I had a cup of coffee. I had trained my brain to associate smoking with coffee. It took a very, very long time to break this. For many people, it's going to a bar. They've trained themselves that "having fun" means drinking, being with friends AND smoking.

Keep it up! This C-note is burning a hole in my pocket!!!

27) Message boards : Politics : No One of Exquisite Mind to run against The Prez? (Message 1183623)
Posted 8 Jan 2012 by Profile rebest
Certainly there are Persons Of Exquisite Mind who must Bang Their Heads against the wall when Our Leaders are So, seemingly, UnIntelligent.

It has been quite scary over here to watch the so called debates. Apart from Ron Paul (and I know he has his own issues) none of the potential Republican candidates seems to have two brain cells to rub together.

Talk about lowest common denominator politics. The thought of one of these blokes, none of whom you would vote for as a member of the local council, having their finger on the Big Red Button is downright scary.

Priceless! Thank you for the laugh. Of course, nothing will ever beat the Daily Mirror headline of November 4, 2004 on the re-election of George W. Bush:

"How can 59,054,087 people be so dumb?"

I've never figured that one out, either.
28) Message boards : Politics : No One of Exquisite Mind to run against The Prez? (Message 1183620)
Posted 7 Jan 2012 by Profile rebest
One factor that no one has mentioned yet. Senior citizens tend to vote in much higher percentages than the younger crowd. And now many who advocated the dismantling of Social Security and Medicare are in the age group that benefits from those programs and have softened their attitudes.

Quite rightly so. Having paid into both Social Security and Medicare systems for over 35 years, I do not believe that it is reasonable to pull the rug out from someone 10-15 years away from retirement. My fellow AARPers will make sure that doesn't happen.

There is no question that the funding/benefit formulas have been pathetically managed by kicking the can down the road. However, this is nothing new. The problem is well known and has been going on for decades.

No program has done more to reduce poverty in America, particularly among elderly women. It cannot be simply scrapped. However, I have no problem with adjusting the formulas so that my kids, who are 18 and contributed for the first time this past year, understand that their benefits will be smaller and they will have their entire working lives to plan accordingly.
29) Message boards : Politics : Poor Newt (Message 1182441)
Posted 2 Jan 2012 by Profile rebest
In the US, we don't have a government -- or at least we don't have governance. With the split between the two houses, and the Senate rules which can be used to require a super majority (60 out of 100) for just about any action, bills passed by the House, don't get passed by the Senate, appointments requiring Senate approval don't get voted on. A successful 3rd party (with significant numbers in the House and Senate might not help this.

As much as we grumble about it, the system is doing precisely what it was designed to do. Recall the words of Thomas Paine, "That government is best which governs least." From the very start, our government was literally designed to stop itself up. (The analogy to a toilet was intentional.) The House is free to run amok passing all the bills it wants by simple majorities. The Senate...the so-called "deliberative body"... is where House bills go to die.

We are currently in a period of a divided electorate. Our representatives are equally divided. Until both sides learn this sixth grade civics lesson, they will continue to put out nothing but big, hard line legislation that is guaranteed to clog the works.
30) Message boards : Politics : Poor Newt (Message 1182428)
Posted 2 Jan 2012 by Profile rebest
Quote from Newt Gingrich on the last day of the year:

"Politics has become a really nasty, vicious, negative business and I think it's disgusting and I think it's dishonest."

What else is new? This quote could have easily come from John Adams. Thomas Jefferson (and his agents) were particularly nasty in the election of 1800.
31) Message boards : Number crunching : The Kitty smoke stop fundraiser....... (Message 1182196)
Posted 1 Jan 2012 by Profile rebest
Hey Mark.

I'm a wee bit late to the game. My apologies.

My old man smoked and suffered his first heart attack at 30. He quit, but the damage done was too much. His second heart attack killed him at 39. This was long before by-pass and stent surgery was available.

Being the idiot that I was, I started smoking at 12 and smoked for 11 years before I quit for good.

If you go 90 days, I'll kick in another hundred. That's an even $1,000 on you if you don't make it.

Maybe that extra zero will help you get over the top! No cigarette is worth a thousand bucks.

Go for it.
32) Message boards : Politics : USA Bankrupt (Message 1181771)
Posted 31 Dec 2011 by Profile rebest
Good grief. Such gloom and doom. I'm surprised that y'all aren't in a cabin in Montana cradling an AR and munching on canned beans.

While you are wringing your hands, remember that tomorrow when the sun rises, you will wake up in a warm bed in a dry, warm dwelling. You will have plenty of food and safe drinking water. You will continue to have unlimited opportunities to live your lives in secure countries with the finest military and police protection and governed by the rule of law.

I could go on, but you get the picture. Most of all, never forget there are several billion human beings on this planet who would gladly trade places with you in a second.

Have a safe, healthy and happy new year.
33) Message boards : Number crunching : Panic Mode On (63) Server problems? (Message 1179010)
Posted 18 Dec 2011 by Profile rebest
Credit seems to be awarded now, based on the slowest host working on any given wu. If all fast hosts are your wingmen, then your credit will be lower. If you get a slower wingman, then your credit will be higher. With the recent limits of 50 per CPU, and 400 per GPU, it has been very tough for many rigs to keep fed. This coupled with a lot of shortie storms, has saturated the available bandwidth. That has caused hitting the retry button multiple times, over a long time to get 1, 2 minute work unit downloaded. Many rigs have continously run dry because of this.

The GPU Users Group has set up a system where the SETI staff has asked us for specific hardware, and we are doing fundraisers to get these specific items, and send them directly to Berkely. You can even use PayPal now to donate. My signature has the GPU Users group website in it if your are interested in donating.


Hi, Steve. Thanks for the reply.

So, S@H has gone to full time, arbitrary workunit limits and the Cricket graph shows that we're MAXed out, as usual.

I have donated for years. As Mark will attest, I have also responded to the specific appeals for new equipment. However, it appears that very little is being done to address the bandwidth problem. New hard drives are nice, but I'll save my money for the day a plan is put forward that will finally punch a hole in the dam holding back the work at Berkeley.

34) Message boards : Number crunching : Panic Mode On (63) Server problems? (Message 1178963)
Posted 17 Dec 2011 by Profile rebest
Wow. I take a few months off the boards and all h*** breaks loose.

Welcome back (8{)

So, are the problems the result of inconsistent availability of work, or is 6.12 a piece of crap?

I haven't "upgraded' to 6.12.xx, but most of the gripes seem to be about the 10x longer back-off times, which probably compound the usual distribution issues for the faster rigs.

Thanks for the info. The transfer retries are bad enough, but when you throw in a 7 or 8 hour project backoff on top of it....

I've set up for no new tasks. I'll clear my cache (which won't take long) and deep-six 6.12 and go back to 6.10.60.

So, what's this CreditNew thing about?
35) Message boards : Number crunching : Panic Mode On (63) Server problems? (Message 1178953)
Posted 17 Dec 2011 by Profile rebest
6.12.x = crap go to 6.10.58 or 6.10.60

Ah. Very good. Will do.

Thanks for the reply.
36) Message boards : Number crunching : Panic Mode On (63) Server problems? (Message 1178944)
Posted 17 Dec 2011 by Profile rebest
Wow. I take a few months off the boards and all h*** breaks loose.

OK, I've spent the past 15 minutes reading various NC threads. I've found vast quantities of gibberish, but very little useful information..

I'm trying to determine why, over the past 2 months, the RAC for my three machines has gone from around 25K to well under 10K. Now, I do not babysit my rigs, so I don't know the day to day availability of work. However, when I have checked, there appears to typically be 250K work units available on the server, but I have a pathetic few on my machine..

I'm also seeing a lot of gripes about BOINC 6.12. I have also noticed ridiculously high - and frequent - project backoffs and what appears to be a total disregard for my cache settings.

So, are the problems the result of inconsistent availability of work, or is 6.12 a piece of crap?


37) Message boards : Technical News : Codex Alimentarius (Nov 09 2011) (Message 1170596)
Posted 12 Nov 2011 by Profile rebest
...short of using a PCXT to crunch with, Yes I know what one of those is capable of, I've been around that long.

You should upgrade that slow Intel chip with a NEC V20!

LOL! My office was once stocked with IBM PCs. I swapped out the 8088s with V20s. The staff was amazed how I made their machines so fast.

Damn, I'm getting old.
38) Message boards : Politics : Judgement day is next friday (Message 1164431)
Posted 22 Oct 2011 by Profile rebest
Oh well. It's 12:01 in the Eastern US. Still here.

I wonder if Sarah Palin can see it from her house...
39) Message boards : Politics : Who is to Blame? (Message 1164399)
Posted 22 Oct 2011 by Profile rebest
Migrants from Sanity
The New York Times
October 20, 2011

With 14 million Americans out of work, you would think somebody could answer the desperation call from farmers offering to pay $150 to anyone willing to pick fruit in the orchards of Washington State. But no, the apples hang at peak ripeness, a near-record crop, and the jobs go begging, despite radio ads and an appeal by Governor Christine Gregoire to the other Washington for help.

One thing the United States still does better than most countries is grow food. But one thing it now does worse than others is govern to solve problems. And so, the apples rot, businesses are crippled, and dreams of fresh life in a new country are dashed. This dystopian status quo exists because the simple-minded who control one of the major political parties have shut down all adult talk on the subject of immigration.

Roll the tape from Tuesday’s Republican presidential debate, and there you see a front-runner, Mitt Romney, who spoke the Michael Kinsley definition of a gaffe – telling the truth by accident. It came after he was needled about the Latino man without proper papers who used to labor on the 2.5 acre lawn of the Romney estate.

“I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake,” Romney recalled telling the lawn service, in words that will be replayed over and over. “I can’t have illegals.”

Romney was part of the shadow economy that keeps grass clipped, apples picked and chickens plucked in every part of this country. If he’d said, “Who else is going to cut my lawn?” at least he’d have started an honest debate.

Another front-runner, the pizza salesman Herman Cain, has vowed to build a multi-billion-dollar fence along the 2,000-mile border with Mexico. As he envisions it, this 20-foot-high barrier will be topped by barbed wire and fully juiced, in order to kill by electric shock all challengers — mothers with children and young men alike.

This country has long been known for the words of the Emma Lazarus sonnet at the base of the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” That line should bring tears to any descendant of an immigrant, which is to say most Americans. But some Republicans apparently want to replace that motto with: Kill the Mexicans.

Cain initially sloughed off this suggestion, saying it was a joke. But then he clarified it a few days later with these words: “I don’t apologize for using a combination of a fence. And it might be electrified — I’m not walking away from that.”

More telling — and truly chilling — is the fact that the audience at the Tea-Party-sponsored Cain speech on Saturday cheered when he initially promised to electrocute Mexicans. “The fence is going to be electrified, and there is going to be a sign on the other side that says, ‘It will kill you.’”

Now, substitute Irish for Mexicans and imagine the reaction. You simply could never say such a thing. But Latinos — they can be routinely dehumanized to appease the black-hearted base of the Republican Party. It’s not hard to see how talk of killing Mexicans, for what is a misdemeanor offense, is such a dis to many of the 50 million Americans who are Latino — the largest ethnic group in the country.

Cain’s comments were the last straw for Lauro Garza, a longtime Texas Republican and fierce conservative. He quit the party this week in disgust, saying he was appalled that people cheered remarks by Cain that “advocated for the murder of innocent people.” Sorry, Mr. Garza, but that’s the party base of 2011, the same folks who booed a gay soldier serving in Iraq, and applauded the idea of letting a sick but uninsured man die in the hospital emergency room.

And, just as not a single Republican candidate stood up for the soldier in harm’s way who had been booed, no one on the stage in Las Vegas challenged Cain on his lethal border suggestions.

A former front-runner, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, actually had some good ideas on immigration that enjoyed — not so long ago — bipartisan support. But the stiff-shouldered, sentence-snagged, swagger-shrunken Texas governor has dropped so fast with that moderate position that he’s now reduced to calling Herm Cain “brother,” and assailing Romney for the Latino on his lawn.

Meanwhile, jobs go begging: in Alabama, which passed the nation’s harshest anti-immigrant law; in Georgia, where the governor suggested using convicts to work in the fields after 11,000 jobs went unfilled; and in the orchards of Washington, where the flow to the far north has diminished mainly because of the recession.

Well then, why not hire only people with full citizenship? One farmer in Colorado, John Harold, tried doing just that, hoping to fill harvest positions with jobless locals looking for extra cash. But as my colleague Kirk Johnson reported, many of those locals did not last even a full day; they complained of the hard work in the onion fields of Colorado.

The problem, through good times and bad, is that there are millions of jobs that Americans will not do. The solution, some combination of path to citizenship with guest worker programs, should be within the grasp of the better political minds.

But tepid Democrats are afraid of doing anything. And some Republicans want a death fence, and will go after anyone who has an illegal on his lawn. It’s the great disconnect — yet another reason why so many Americans have a higher regard for a single-celled protozoan than a politician working the stump.

40) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Post your age, if you dare. (Message 1164254)
Posted 21 Oct 2011 by Profile rebest
James, John and rebest, Yer all lucky, You have children, I though don't, I spent Years taking care of My Mother, so that's that.

I'm sure it was hard on you. In 1986, my mother was diagnosed with cancer in November and was dead by the end of March. I still deeply regret not having more time and resources to have cared for her better.

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