SLAC Today is available online at:
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In this issue:
Biking to Work: Not Just for Grad Students
People Today: Sight-Fishing in Brazil
SLAC's Non-Gas-Guzzler
Electrical Safety Tip: Why Cotton?

SLAC Today

Wednesday - May 17, 2006

John Bozek rides to SLAC each day. (Click on image to learn more.)

Biking to Work:
Not Just for Grad Students

Tomorrow marks SLAC's fifth year promoting Bike to Work Day, part of the nation-wide effort to burn carbs—not carbon—en route to work.

A bonus for cyclists on Sand Hill Road tomorrow will be the "energizer station" located by SLAC's main entrance. Volunteers will offer bagels, bottled water, goodie bags, and pats on the back between 6:30 and 9:00 a.m. to anyone on a bike.

To inspire you for tomorrow's Bike to Work Day, read some stats on a few of those who have made a habit of biking to SLAC.

(Weekly Column - Profile)

Sight-Fishing in Brazil

(Photo - David Ernst)David Ernst's passion for fly fishing took him to the jungles of Brazil last month.

"It's worth the while to travel," says Ernst. "The areas are all protected, so the odds of catching big fish are much better."

Ernst, who manages the mechanical services group at SSRL, got into the sport about 15 years ago. When a friend mentioned that a space had opened up in a week-long fishing trip on the Agua Boa River, Ernst joined the quest for the aptly-named peacock bass.

Three vaccinations and hours of connecting flights later, he was on the mission. Ernst spent his days sight-fishing, which involves casting a line straight at a fish.

Peacock bass weren't the only haul in this catch-and-release venture. "Once it's reeled back to the boat, you can hear a caught piranha munching the fly," Ernst says. "The crunch when it hits the metal hook tells you you don't want to mess with it."

Now that he's checked Brazil off his list, Ernst is looking to fish in the Seychelles and the Bahamas. "It's the experience of a lifetime—so long as you don't catch anything with teeth."

SLAC's Non-Gas-Guzzler

(Photo - Electric Vehicle) Al and Ray Manuel with SLAC's new electric utility truck. (Click on image for larger version.)

If you see a smokeless pickup truck glide past you at SLAC, say hello to the lab's first electric utility truck, one of 10 newly purchased vehicles on site.

"It runs all day on a single charge," says Al Manuel of the Fleet Services Department.

Despite its compact size, the electric truck can carry a ton of cargo—almost double the capacity of older trucks in the fleet. Although the other new vehicles are gasoline-fueled, with a gas mileage of 45 miles per gallon they use less than half the fuel used by the older trucks.

"The new vehicles will pay for themselves in two years," says Manuel's colleague Ron Anderson.

Electrical Safety Tip:
Why Cotton?

(Logo - cotton) Common forms of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) used to mitigate electrical hazards are long sleeved shirts and long pants made of natural materials. Untreated cotton, wool, rayon, silk and their blends are natural fibers. These natural fibers do not melt. Synthetic materials, like polyester, will melt if exposed to extreme heat or flames and can fuse to the skin. When working around electricity, go natural!

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