#2) Solar Stormwatch
This one is a fairly straightforward photo analysis-type browser widget, but it ranks so highly because spotting solar storms not only advances our understanding of space and the Sun, it can actually save lives. Imagine being up in space and a solar flare fries all your equipment. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some warning?
So, if you’re waiting at your cube for something, anything, to do, go save some astronauts. Or you can crush AIDS.
Foldit is all about folding proteins: you figure out how they come together, and it gives science an idea of how those proteins work. Or, just as importantly, don’t work.
So, the next time you’re feeling unfulfilled at work, goof off. The life you save could be your own.