Monthly Archives: November 2006

I crashed the cluster (but I did not hose the filesystem)

I managed to crash the cluster today while moving raid units around on the raid card. Luckily there weren’t too many simulations running at the time. However, this seemingly innocuous activity will now be relegated to scheduled maintenance times. Apparently the Linux kernel doesn’t like disappearing SCSI drives.

More on Big Models

I have a Perl script that goes through time data from my simulations and develops what are commonly known as isochronal maps or activation maps. They show a color-coded snapshot of which parts of the model were activated by time, usually in “bins” of several milliseconds. Here’s a sample isochronal map from one of our papers:

Isochronal Map

Anyway, these maps take about 10-30 seconds of processing for my 2D regional ischemia model. For my new, larger model, it takes about 28 minutes.

Center for Inquiry – “We’re in big trouble!”

My title paraphrases, their message, but I think it’s a reasonable summary. Interesting tidbits:

the resilience of anti-evolution movements is supported not only by religious dogmatism but also by the abysmal public ignorance of basic scientific principles. Consider these facts:

  • A recent poll by the Pew Research Center revealed that 64% of Americans are open to the idea of teaching intelligent design or creationism in public schools.
  • Some 42% totally reject evolution or believe that present forms of life existed since the beginning of time.
  • 38% would teach only creationism instead of evolutionary theory.
  • Only 26% agree with the predominant scientific view that life evolved by processes of natural selection without the need for divine intervention.
  • The percentage of individuals who accept the theory of evolution is lower in the United States than in any other developed country, with the exception of Turkey.

Recent polls have illustrated other instances of scientific illiteracy:

  • 20% of Americans think that the Sun revolves about the Earth
  • Only 10% know what radiation is
  • Less than one-third can identify DNA as a key to heredity
  • In the U.S., twelfth grade students scored lower than the average of students in 21 other countries in science and math.

We think that these dismal facts portend a clear and present danger to the role of science in the U.S.

I’m inclined to agree. Sometimes I forget, because I’m surrounded by fantastically smart and well-educated scientists for most of my waking hours. Please, don’t forget the challenges we face. Don’t let this bullshit slide.