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In this issue:
Walls, Glorious Walls
People Today: Crazy about Critiki
Voicemail System Upgrade and Outage
Energy Tip of the Week

SLAC Today

Wednesday - August 22, 2007

Walls, Glorious Walls

The Near Experimental Hall.
(Click on image for more photos.)

The Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) project has reached a major milestone this month—the Near Experimental Hall (NEH) is now a free-standing structure. This two-story, 24,000 square-foot hall will house three experimental stations, laser labs and office space.

"We are very excited about this important and wonderful milestone for the civil project as it allows many of the other trades to commence their activities," said Conventional Facilities Systems Manager David Saenz. "This could not have been completed without the obvious teamwork between Turner, their concrete subcontractor (Conco) and the LCLS Conventional Facilities staff."

This milestone puts the NEH right on schedule, and clears the way for other trades—including fire protection, lighting power, plumbing and HVAC—to begin work and remain unaffected by adverse weather. In all, more than 15,000 cubic yards of concrete were poured to create this structure, which comprises two floors and a plaza roof deck. Crews anticipate completing the NEH for occupancy by the spring of 2008.

(Weekly Column - Profile)

Crazy about Critiki

Michelle Whiting.
(Click on image for larger version.)

For SLAC website developer Michelle Whiting, "tiki" means more than Webster's definition: a carved replica of a Polynesian mythical figure. It means passion. Whiting's fascinations lie with the meaning of tiki through the eyes of mid-century Polynesian pop-culture in America, which is a far cry from today's tiki decor of neon palm trees, coconut beachwear, and drinks with pink umbrellas.

According to Whiting, the 1950s found Americans seeking to escape from a straight-laced, post-World War II society. What they found were Polynesian-themed bars and restaurants, many appearing in towns of all sizes across the country. The craze was largely abandoned, however, by the war weary counter-culture of early 1970s.

"But now tiki is making a huge comeback," said Whiting before launching into one of her favorite subjects.

So how does one become a tiki enthusiast?

"I was always into mid-century design," said Whiting. "And have always been into intensely themed places. When I decided to 'go Disneyland' on a room in my house, I began researching a Polynesian aesthetic."

What started as decoration research snowballed into full-blown tiki-mania. Five years ago, Whiting created, and still maintains, a website called Critiki dedicated to past and present tiki restaurants. The site contains locations, pictures, and ratings from tiki enthusiasts. Soon after its creation, Whiting found herself visiting every tiki establishment she could to populate the database.

"After I created the website, I was a real goner," said Whiting.

Soon Whiting was even flying red-eye flights for weekend trips across the country to visit new tiki restaurants with east coast friends. After years of work, Critiki contains information on over 600 establishments. Whiting estimates she's visited 100 herself, including tiki-themed home bars.

In addition to Critiki, Whiting also runs a website devoted to tiki mug collections. Many restaurants in the '50s sold unique mugs, and a few still continue the practice today. The website was particularly useful in a very unexpected way.

"One woman had some of her collection of over 1,000 tiki mugs destroyed by a run-away car just weeks after having uploaded photos and information to the website," said Whiting. "The insurance company actually allowed her to use that information, including value estimates generated by the website, to determine the worth of what she had lost."

WIS Seminar Today: Saving Angels Rescue Ranch for All Animals

Don't miss this afternoon's Women's Interchange at SLAC (WIS) lecture, "Saving Angels Rescue Ranch for All Animals—SARRAA," presented by SLAC's very own Samantha Turner.

Today at 12:00 p.m. in Panofsky Auditorium, Turner will describe SARRAA's work to rescue, care for, and rehabilitate abused, neglected, and abandoned animals. More information on Turner and the event is available on the WIS website and in a previous SLAC Today article.

Voicemail System Upgrade and Outage

SLAC Telecommunications Analysts Christine Brochon (left) and Brenda Eberle, working with Black Box Technician Eric Miller, ensure SLAC's new CallPilot system is fully operational.

On Saturday, September 15, SLAC's voicemail system will undergo a major upgrade. This upgrade is necessary to maintain onsite voicemail at currently supported levels of hardware and software. It will also position the lab for future enhancements to our voicemail system capabilities.

New system hardware and software has already been installed and is currently being tested. Completing the upgrade will require an outage lasting up to eight hours. During the outage, the contents of all mailboxes will be transferred to the new system. All voicemail users should plan for the system to be unavailable from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on September 15.

The SLAC telephone system (PBX) and network will not be affected by this outage. You will still be able to receive calls and make calls to both on- and off-site locations. Callers to a SLAC extension that is normally forwarded to a voice mailbox, menu, or announcement, will hear continuous ringing on the line. Users who call in to check messages will also hear continuous ringing. Calls to SLAC's main number, (650) 926-3300, will bypass our usual menu and ring directly at the Main Gate.

Following the outage, all voicemail capabilities will be restored to normal. Users can continue to access their mailbox in the same manner and using the same commands with which they are familiar. With the exception of the outage, the transition to the new system should be transparent to most users.

Training on the new CallPilot system will be conducted for all SLAC Area Telecommunications Office Motivators (ATOMs) prior to the upgrade. ATOMs will also receive quick reference cards to distribute to all users.

If you have any questions about the upgrade or how to use the new CallPilot system, please contact your ATOM for assistance. To locate your ATOM, check the ATOM Listings Menu.

Energy Tip of the Week

A medium-sized (17 cu ft), automatic-defrost refrigerator consumes ~840 kWh/year, so it is a great energy-saver to turn off redundant refrigerators, especially if they are located relatively close to each other and have enough space to accommodate all the food. 

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