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In this issue:
Surfing for Granite
WIS Seminar: Ecotourism: Nature, Culture, and Consciousness
Safety Today: Stressed Out? Stress Affects Both Body and Mind
Meet SLAC Tour Guide Joe Tuggle

SLAC Today

Tuesday - October 23, 2007

Ben Poling (left) and Ed Akerstrom with the six-ton granite block Akerstrom acquired on Craigslist.
(Click on image for larger version.)

Surfing for Granite

The Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) project is a collaboration that brings together components and equipment from dozens of suppliers. Last month, joined that supply chain. Ed Akerstrom, a member of the LCLS undulator assembly team, scored a huge find—a six-ton block of granite—on the popular website and saved SLAC thousands of dollars in the process.

Akerstrom, a machinist who regularly trolls for deals on tools, found the 15-foot-long granite block by accident. Coincidentally, the seller was associated with a previous SLAC-approved supplier, making acquisition of the stone a lot easier.

"He told me about his find on the phone," said Ben Poling, the undulator assembly team leader. "When he said they only wanted $300 for it, I figured he must have the dimensions wrong."  Read more...

WIS Seminar: Ecotourism—Nature, Culture, and Consciousness

Tomorrow's Women's Interchange at SLAC (WIS) seminar will put vacations in a whole new light. Suzy Ross, the Therapeutic Recreation Concentration Coordinator in the Department of Hospitality, Recreation, and Tourism at San Jose State University, will present "Ecotourism: Nature, Culture, and Consciousness" on Wednesday, October 24 at 12:00 p.m. in Panofsky Auditorium.

Ross will use pictures, stories and data to offer examples of how people can travel more lightly, honor local customs, and thoroughly enjoy travel experiences using Transformative Learning Theory, an approach whereby the primary intent of the learner is to discern an emergent pattern of experiences, in particular, the integration of personal transformation, when travelers return home.
Learn more...

(Column - Safety Today)

Stressed Out?
Stress Affects
Both Body and Mind

Maybe it's money trouble or the burden of caring for a sick relative. Maybe it's your job. Maybe it's the traffic. Whatever the cause, everyone seems stressed out these days. People once hotly debated the idea that stress can affect your body, but we now know that stress can cause both short- and long-term changes to your body and mind. The more we understand how stress affects us, the more we learn about how to cope better.

Long before we humans learned how to drive cars to work and check in with the office on handheld computers, our bodies evolved to be finely tuned to avoiding predators. When we sense danger, our bodies quickly release hormones like adrenaline into our bloodstream that increase our heart rate, focus our attention and cause other changes to quickly prepare us for coming danger. Stress was—and still is—crucial to our survival.  Read more...

Meet SLAC Tour Guide Joe Tuggle

Joseph Tuggle

Although leading SLAC tours can be fun and exciting, it can occasionally be stressful. Joseph Tuggle, a graduate student from the University of Maryland working on his Ph.D. with the BaBar experiment, found this out the hard way when his first tour went awry. The tour was scheduled for a group of Chinese judges plus a few local residents. When the Chinese group cancelled, Tuggle didn't think much of it, until he realized they were supposed to supply the transportation.

"We had no bus and I was sort of freaking out," said Tuggle. "But the Communications Office came through with a van for us. It made the tour more personal and was actually a lot of fun."

Tuggle was convinced to become a tour guide by Tae Min Hong, a BaBar physicist from U.C. Santa Barbara, and hasn't regretted his decision. After training that included tagging along on other tours, learning about SLAC through the online virtual tour and developing an introductory talk, he was ready to lead his own. Although it's nice to earn a few extra dollars, Tuggle says he leads tours because he sees their importance.

Tuggle sees a big disconnect between physicists and the public. He gets the impression that some people think physicists have their heads in the clouds and work on experiments with no practical application. Tuggle hopes to combat this image through his tours of SLAC while informing people what is happening at the lab.

"People give their tax dollars to the lab and should know what's going on," said Tuggle. "Plus, I just like talking about physics. So if there's a group of people willing to listen, I'm willing to talk."

Interested in leading SLAC tours? Contact Tour Coordinator Maura Chatwell. All lab employees and users, regardless of their field of study, are encouraged to participate.

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