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In this issue:
Gamma-ray Bursts Active Longer Than Thought
Profile: Manuel Hipol - Healer, Surfer
New Mandatory Course for Supervisors
Seminar to Demystify Estate Planning

SLAC Today

Wednesday - May 23, 2007

Gamma-ray Bursts Active Longer Than Thought

In this artist's impression of the central engine of a gamma-ray burst, a powerful jet of radiation and fast-moving particles blasts its way out of the central region of a dying star. (Image courtesy of NASA / SkyWorks Digital.)

Using NASA's Swift satellite, astronomers have discovered that energetic flares seen after gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are not just hiccups, they appear to be a continuation of the burst itself.

GRBs release in seconds the same amount of energy our Sun will emit over its expected 10 billion-year lifetime. The staggering energy of a long-duration GRB (lasting more than a few seconds) comes from the core of a massive star collapsing to form a black hole or neutron star. In current theory, inrushing gas forms a disk around the central object. Magnetic fields channel some of that material into two jets moving at near-light speed. Collisions between shells of ejected material within the jet trigger the actual GRB.

Early in the mission, Swift's X-ray Telescope (XRT) discovered that the initial pulse of gamma-rays, known as prompt emission, is often followed minutes to hours later by short-lived but powerful X-ray flares. The flares suggested—but did not prove—that GRB central engines remain active long after the prompt emission.

After analyzing GRB 060714, named for its detection date of July 14, 2006, Jonathan Granot of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) and eight colleagues, have demonstrated that x-ray flares are indeed a continuation of the prompt emission, showing that GRB central engines are active much longer than previously thought.  Read more...

(Weekly Column - Profile)

Manuel Hipol:
Healer, Surfer

(Image - Manuel Hipol)
Manuel Hipol.
(Click on image for larger version.)

One of the first things you may notice about Manuel Hipol is a philosophical self awareness that he often relates in medical terms. Other times, surfing holds the better analogy. But when it comes to caring for clients, SLAC's new physician's assistant is a patient listener who draws from a lifetime of interdisciplinary interests and esoteric hobbies.

Partly raised on the Quinault reservation in Washington State during his early adulthood, Hipol went on to study medicine at the Stanford Medical School. His medical career started with a six-year stint at Berkeley University Health Services as a primary care associate. His arrival at SLAC at the end of 2006 marked a return more than a beginning—nine years ago, in a prior chapter of his life, Hipol worked as a wellness coordinator organizing on-site, medically related talks for SLAC staff.

Hipol says he's glad to return because he appreciates the lab's environment. "I love working here," he says, "because it's apparent that people really love what they do."

Hipol's early career path took many turns that have shaped and seasoned his perspective. He has worked as a graphic artist, personal trainer and health club manager. He credits his love for wood carving to the Native American influence of his step father. And a recent foray into surfboard repair has helped fuel his passion for the hobby as his personal herd of boards proliferates.

He says his time among the waves near his home in Pacifica has taught him to overcome many personal fears. Surfing, Hipol says, has shaped the way he understands everything from personal relationships to his own physiology.

"With surfing, sometimes you've just got to get your head together and get out there," he says. Upon noticing a recurrent twitch when faced with a looming breaker, Hipol says "You have to learn where your fear lives. For me, it's in my right foot."

New Mandatory ES&H Course for Supervisors

In the coming weeks, the Environment, Safety and Health (ES&H) Division will present six sessions of Course 418, "ES&H Management for Supervisors." This course contains new content and is mandatory for all supervisors. It will automatically be added to the SLAC Training Assessment of each supervisor.

The training will:
- Explain a new federal
  regulation, 10 CFR 851, that
  goes into effect on May 25,
  2007. This regulation creates
  new standards for worker safety
  and health. It also creates
  requirements for line
  management and sub-
  contractors.
- Describe commitments SLAC
  made in a corrective action plan
  developed in response to the
  DOE Office of Independent
  Oversight ES&H Evaluation
  conducted between
  September and November of
  2006.
- Reinforce elements of our
  Integrated Safety and
  Environmental Management
  System (ISEMS) that have been
  shown by recent assessments
  to have some weaknesses.

Training will be offered as follows:
May 30, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.,
   Kavli Auditorium
June 4, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.,
   Kavli Auditorium
June 14, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.,
   Panofsky Auditorium
June 15, 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.,
   Kavli Auditorium
June 19, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.,
   Panofsky Auditorium
June 21, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.,
   Panofsky Auditorium

All supervisors will soon receive an email as a reminder of this training requirement. ES&H Coordinators at all levels are encouraged to attend. Direct any questions to Brian Sherin (x5082) or Robin Wendt (x4295).

Seminar to Demystify Estate Planning

(Image - Piggy Bank) Find out what's fact and what's fiction in the world of estate planning this afternoon at 12 noon in the Kavli Auditorium. There, Attorney Hollis L. Logue, III, will present the WIS seminar "Personal Wealth Preservation Strategies."

One of the most informative and entertaining speakers in the Bay Area, Logue is an attorney whose law practice is devoted to helping families control, protect, and preserve their assets. In today's seminar, he will explain:

- How a house can be a hidden
  tax trap that can cost tens or
  hundreds of thousands of
  unnecessary tax dollars
- How children from a first
  marriage can be left out and
  get nothing
- Why married people lose a
  $2,000,000 federal tax break in
  most estate plans
Learn more...

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