Beta Clones for Joe / by J.C. Hutchins

Written by 7th Son listener Carl Angolini

When JC made his call to action about Joe Murphy recently, it challenged me on two levels.

One, I have been listening to Joe for a while now (I started being a loyal listener of Slice of Sci-Fi back around episode 30 or so, in addition to Wingin It and the Kick-Ass Mystic Ninjas). I've never met Joe, but he seems like he'd be a cool guy to hang out with. Second, cancer has a long history in my family.

A wise man once said that we have to kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight. Can we help do something about cancer? Can we find ways to kick at the darkness?

You may or may not be familiar with grid computing--donating CPU time to causes. One of the most well-known grid projects is SETI@Home, helping to search for extraterrestrial intelligence. But there are grid computing projects that contribute to medical research, including cancer research.

One of these is World Community Grid. This site, as most of the grid sites I've seen, allows you to create teams. I've created a team for anyone that wishes to give CPU time to research cancer (and if you desire, the other projects listed on the site).

Go to In the upper right, click on the link 'become a member'. On the page that follows, fill out the appropriate information. All you need to give out is an email address. The License Agreement says they share the information given with the usual suspects, so if you feel paranoid about that, give it a throwaway email address.

If you want to join the team I created, click on the 'Select...' link by 'Select a Team'. In the 'Keyword Search' field in the window that comes up, enter 'Beta Clone'. There should be one result. That's the team. Click the button to join.

Once you get past that page, you are at the download page. Pick your operating system and “client” (aka computer app that will allow you to participate in this program). Once you have selected your client, the next page has you download the software. It also has links to tell you how to set up the software based on your platform.

Let's see if we can make the darkness bleed daylight! If you have any questions/comments/whatever, please send them to