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In this issue:
SPEAR3 Approved for 500mA
People Today: Anita Riebhoff - Curing AIDS, One Step at a Time
Overview: Listening to Government
Electrical Safety Tip: Make a Plan

SLAC Today

Wednesday - May 31, 2006

The SPEAR3 beamline. Image courtesy of Peter Ginter. (Click on image for larger version.)

SPEAR3 Approved for 500mA

This spring the Department of Energy gave SPEAR3 license to run the accelerator at 500 milliamperes (mA), the current the accelerator was designed to use. Since it opened in January 2004, the machine has operated at 100 mA while beamlines were rebuilt with increased radiation shielding and optical components were upgraded to handle the increased beam power.

The fivefold increase in current translates into more photons shining on experimental samples, which will be especially helpful for protein crystallography studies.  Read more...

(Weekly Column - Profile)

Curing AIDS, One Step at a Time

(Photo - Anita Riebhoff) Many visit Florence, Italy, to admire the art and savor the cuisine. But SLAC's Anita Riebhoff will go there this fall for a nobler cause: the AIDS marathon.

"I'm running to support the global AIDS effort," says Riebhoff, who works in Travel Services. "I will keep doing this until they find a cure."

Riebhoff's goal is to raise at least $3,800 from this race alone, with the help of her friends, relatives and other donors. This will be her first marathon ever; her previous longest run was six miles. A mother of eight, Riebhoff is moved by the plight of AIDS victims and their children.

"My heart goes out to them, especially the kids who have lost their moms," she says.

Riebhoff, 51, grew up in the Philippines, and came to the United States in 1976. In school, she competed in the high jump and other athletic events. After her last child was born nine years ago, Riebhoff started running every day. Serious training for the marathon began two years ago.

Riebhoff's petite figure and relaxed demeanor belie her amazing stamina and determination. Her training regimen is that of an Olympic athlete. She gets up at 4 a.m. for two hours of intense "boot camp-style" training. Lunchtime is reserved for running and aerobics. Work is followed by more exercise and an hour or two of ballroom dancing for relaxation.

How does a mother of eight manage to fit this training schedule into her life while working fulltime? "My husband and children are very supportive," she says. "They go out of their way to accommodate my schedule."

But Riebhoff's children do tease her, asking, "Mom, are you going to Italy to run a marathon or to look at the good-looking Italian guys?"

Visit Riebhoff's AIDS Marathon Donation Page...

Overview: Listening to Government

(Holland in SSRL)Yesterday morning, Mike Holland and Steve Sekula talked about how important it is for scientists to communicate their work to their elected representatives and the public and described how to go about doing it during a "Listening to Washington" event organized by the SLAC Users' Organization (SLUO).

Holland, designee to the Chairman of the House Science Subcommittee on Energy, shared the perspective from Congress down, while Sekula, a BaBar researcher from MIT, offered the "view from the espresso-soaked trenches of basic research up to Congress."

Holland stressed that lawmakers are usually not scientists. Therefore, we should explain our research to them in terms of its public good, skipping the technical details. Read more...

Electrical Safety Tip:
Make a Plan

(Photo - Work Plan) Before starting a non-routine or hazardous electrical task, it's a good idea and SLAC policy to create an electrical work plan. Electrical work, like all work, needs to be thought through beyond the actual job steps. This process involves identifying, reducing and/or eliminating hazards. Hazard mitigation and the meeting of technical skill levels may involve Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and training requirements.

There is an Electrical Work Plan (EWP) form on the ESSG web site. It is always a good idea to get an independent review for work plans, and remember to update your routine or non-routine JHAM or AHA if necessary. After job completion, review the work plan looking for ways to improve it and keep the plan on file for future reference. Getting organized can help you stay safe.

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