Serious Upcoming Articles Folks!

All right well we at College DownTime have been putting together some time the past couple days to try to make a fairly decent article about how we've made a few extra bucks in the past (and hopefully present depending on a news report). Next week we're posting several articles detailing our experiences with trading securities, stocks, bonds, and forex (trading monies).

                        A few trades from our early times, notice the 50% profit

We're putting together a few tutorials to get you started with the basics on trading, especially penny stocks. Yep, that's right. The "scam" you've seen in spam emails is real. We don't mess with expensive stocks or options trading, but instead work more with stock which are primarily based on speculation (though it can be more precise than it sounds). Through our experiences with quite a few trades and research, we can give you a good knowledge basis if you're actually interested in learning a bit about this lucrative, but surprisingly easy, trading scheme. Get in, get out, and keep your money safe.

Wait for Monday, we'll post an article on what to look for when researching stocks!

Mead Batch #2!

Well we've definitely made more than two batches of mead before, but for our purposes here, it's #2. If you haven't checked out our first article of making mead, now's the time! This one is quite a bit more aged than most before it. It was made cheaper than those before. It is also quite drier than its predecessors, with only 2.5 lbs of honey per gallon instead of 4 lbs. Here are some quick stats:

- A 2 gallon batch with 5 lbs of honey total

- Several oranges, lemons, and a whole box of raisins were added for flavor complexity

- Two packets of Fleischmann's yeast

- Aged two months before opening

- Settled for another three weeks before bottling

- Currently about four months old

As you can see in the pictures, the yeast is settling out quite nicely, leaving a clear wine. It still has some settling to do, but that's not necessarily bad. Some folks like the taste of the yeast still in the wine as it tastes more like bread when it does. It takes patience to sift the mead through without taking the yeast with it, but it does clear up quite nicely when you do. That's about it for this batch folks. Any questions about a recipe or variations we will try our best to answer. Cheers, and good luck!

Spare Computing Power and Time?

As we here at CDT try to be productive in our spare time, we figure your computing machine should do the same. This article is a brief look at some options of what to do with spare CPU and power usage. Not exactly for use at your parents' house, but if you don't pay for utilities this is for you.

Station Ripper
This tiny, free program is designed to rip songs from online radio stations. After installing, all you do is search for a station (built in search) and click "record." It runs pretty silently in your background processes and records in 128bit formats. Not the best, but it works. Ads will appear at the beginning of songs occasionally.

Bitcoin mines
If you're into the anonymity of the internet, you'll appreciate Bitcoin. It's a site for generating a long-term virtual currency linked to individual accounts. Bitcoins are mined, traded, or exchanged for services/goods. They have no tangible value except for what people will offer for them. To mine for them, you download the program and start mining, though it's not profitable. Nowadays, participating in a mine pool is your best option since bitcoins are being generated exponentially slower every month.

A site hosted by UC Berkeley dedicated to using volunteer processing power to complete projects. Some projects BOINC is used for are for climate models, genome mapping, and various environmental models. All you have to do is register, input your specs, download the software, and choose the projects you want to help with.

An interesting volunteering site for sure. This site is dedicated to volunteers loaning their processing power to download and analyze radio telescope data (outer space). Help search the universe for extraterrestrial life one gig of RAM at a time. You download BOINC, input SETI's information, and let it run!

Climate predictions
This page has several climate change-related experiments your processor can help decipher. The thermohaline experiments seems particularly interesting, as it predicts drastic temperature changes due to ocean current changes.

Folding is one of the most popular ones to be a part of. It also has published quite a few articles on the completed projects. The projects are about protein folding and the information gained is particularly used to understand diseases.

All other distributed computing projects are hosted here at Distributed computing

We'll be finding more options in the future for your spare processing power. In the meantime, if you don't want to go through the hassle of volunteering IRL, try it online instead! Substitute an afternoon of tree planting to set up your machine!

Stress? Relax with Meditation

Hopefully you don't deal with stress the way we at College Down Time do, by chugging three cups of coffee each and playing ping pong until 2 AM. Stress gets to just about all of us when dealing with academia, luckily we can combat it with style, not the bottle!

You've probably heard about meditation before, either from TV, some old book you were forced to read, or from that one odd kid in the class who seems content with everything and has this odd sense of inner peace. In a few minutes you can learn the basics on meditating and what your mindset should be like throughout the process. Granted, it does take practice and patience to actually achieve anything, but at the very least you'll appreciate a way to clear your head during the day.

First, make sure you don't have any commitments to worry about for at least an hour, since we're just beginning. There's no way you'll be able to concentrate with a pressing matter hovering over you. Fridays are popular for us during the semester because we haven't had class on a Friday in years.

Second, sit comfortably on your bed, a quiet spot of grass (Bermuda bluegrass if you can, a favorite), or in an area infrequently disturbed. There's actually a remote xeric garden a minute's walk from my place on campus I use as a quiet getaway. You'll need a remote area to help remove your thoughts from your consciousness.

Now comes the interesting part: attempting to lose yourself. Cross your legs comfortably so they feel like one when you close your eyes. Focus for a bit on closing your eyes until you can't remember when you closed them. You may awake during this process several times, but once your eyes comfortably shut without being forced you can proceed.

Breathing comes next. Breathe normally for a few minutes until breathing is the only thing you're focusing on. Your inhalations should be steady and streamlined while your exhalations are slow, much slower than before you started. Slow breathing keeps your thoughts slow and steady as well. You might start focusing on your heartbeat, but try not to. Unless you're a Tibetan monk, focusing on your heartbeat is a lost cause. Now, it will be difficult to block out all thoughts, so for our purposes pick ONLY ONE. I've heard of picturing a flower on one's head, listening to the steady rustle of the foliage, or imagining a cup of tea. Just make sure you're using only one sense. Do not make it complicated.

With time you'll last longer (don't we all) in your meditative states and won't awake as often. When finishing, open your eyes first before returning to normal breathing. Stay seated for a minute until you're adjusted so you don't black out. I once lost vision for a few seconds due to jumping up after meditating for about 15 minutes!

These are the basics, try them a few times before our next article on a particular mantra.