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In this issue:
GLAST is Unwrapped for the Holidays
Volunteer Layoff Program Status
Beating Holiday Stress
Computing Support During the Shutdown
Pief Remembers, Again

SLAC Today

Thursday - December 20, 2007

GLAST before (left) and and after it was unwrapped. (Photos courtesy of NASA.)

GLAST is Unwrapped for the Holidays

Everyone likes getting high-tech presents for the holidays, and the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington received a special present this year—the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST).

GLAST arrived at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) soon after Thanksgiving on November 28 in a large container. It was shipped by a tractor trailer truck that transported it from General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems in Gilbert, Arizona.

Almost like children who can't wait to open their presents, the GLAST mission engineers and scientists opened the protective container that GLAST was shipped in, and are now preparing the satellite for testing before Christmas. They will be testing GLAST to make sure it can endure the extreme temperatures and vacuum of space.  Read more...

Computing Support During the Shutdown

Even though the lab will be closed from December 22, 2007 through January 2, 2008, all computing systems supported by Scientific Computing and Computing Services (SCCS) will be left running during this period.

If a problem should arise, you may leave critical and non-critical messages on the SCCS Help Desk line at 650-926-HELP or x4357.  Read more...

Beating Holiday Stress

To keep healthy during the holidays, try some of these tips for beating holiday stress.

Just Say No
Over-committing to parties and holiday events can bring on stress, fatigue, exhaustion and illness. Learn to say no to offers. Concentrate on the events and things that you cherish most and graciously say "no thanks" to multiple invitations.

Eat Right and Exercise
Reduce stress by taking frequent walks and exercising when possible. There are lots of goodies around work places these days, so choose wisely and be sure to eat nutritious, balanced meals.

Say Thanks
Focus on practicing gratitude and giving thanks to co-workers and friends during the holidays. Gratitude relieves stress and brings a calming attitude to you and those around you.

Plan for the Break
Reflect on your time away from work and plan on how to spend your holiday break. Take time for you and your family, and relax. Do the things you have put off all year.

Have a productive and healthy new year!

Volunteer Layoff Program Status

In my previous communications to you about our Voluntary Layoff Program, I indicated that you would be given a status report and that applicants would be notified of the results of our review prior to the winter shutdown. We have received about 80 applications for consideration.

However, given the budget news that Persis Drell wrote about in Tuesday's SLAC Today, we have decided that further review of our programs and plans for FY2008 is necessary; as a result, we will delay our notification to staff until no later than the 11th of January. We appreciate everyone's patience in waiting for this information.

Pief Remembers, Again

Despite earlier announcements to the contrary and owing to a series of publisher delays, Pief Panofsky's autobiography, Panofsky on Physics, Politics, and Peace: Pief Remembers, has now arrived on shelves around the area—just in time for those still filling out their holiday gift list.

Pief Panofsky's legacy at SLAC and throughout the world is difficult to overestimate. Although Pief Remembers is an autobiography of this extraordinary man, it is also a discussion of such issues as independent academic inquiry and government funding of basic science. Pief relates the major interests and activities of his life, from his early research at the beginning of World War II, to his work at SLAC, to his life-long efforts toward arms control and the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons.

Pief Remembers lists for $69.95 and is available at Kepler's Books in downtown Menlo Park and at the Stanford Bookstore, where Stanford employees receive a 10% discount with ID. The book is also available online from

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