SLAC Today is available online at:

In this issue:
Cyber Commuters Attend Conference with a Click
People Today: Stranger than Fiction
Reminder: LCLS Construction Site Remains Off Limits
Conservation Tip of the Week

SLAC Today

Wednesday - February 20, 2008

Cyber Commuters Attend Conference with a Click

Teleconference equipment in the Kavli 3rd Floor Conference Room enables GLAST KIPAC researchers to interact with colleagues in Bari, Italy.

Thirteen Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) collaboration members attended a workshop in Bari, Italy, earlier this month—despite the fact that only three of the researchers actually traveled to Europe. Multimedia and teleconference tools erased travel burdens and expenses by allowing researchers to attend via cyberspace.

Even though they never set foot on an airplane, the cyber commuters still had to endure jetlag. Professor Elliott Bloom participated in instrument analysis and data-collection talks from 11 p.m. to 10 a.m., Pacific time. But in comparison to travel, the adjustment was easy he said.

"Getting to Bari can be difficult. First you fly to New York, then across the Atlantic, then to Rome and then finally you fly to Bari," Bloom said. "We saved ourselves a lot of energy and time." Read more...

(Weekly Column - Profile)

Stranger than Fiction

Ginger O'Reilly and her husband camping in the Sahara Desert.

Reading thrillers by Ian Fleming and Robert Ludlum, SLAC Contract Administrator Ginger O'Reilly often fantasized about adventures and exotic landscapes. When she married a real-estate attorney whose passion for travel rivaled her own, her life began to imitate the pages of her favorite fiction.

Over the past 12 years, O'Reilly has visited 65 countries. Last year alone she visited Namibia, Victoria Falls (between Zambia and Zimbabwe), China, Tibet, Romania, Croatia, Portugal, Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro and five of the Canary Islands.

"It makes me feel so lucky to be an American when I come home," she said. "We take so many things for granted here."

O'Reilly has seen and experienced things that Fleming and Ludlum couldn't prepare her for. She compared the "treasure trove of cultural wonders" in Burma to stepping back in time.

Tribes, largely untouched by outside influence, populate the hills there, and the chiming of bells from Buddhist temples, or pagodas, ring throughout the day, O'Reilly said. During her visit, women and children were amazed by her white skin tone and brushed their hands against her cheeks and arms.

O'Reilly and her husband are sometimes required to solicit government guides during their travels, including their recent trips to Burma and Libya. In Burma, the guides made it a point to let them know that they risked imprisonment if they were overhead saying anything negative about the government. The guides thought anyone could be a spy, O'Reilly said.


LCLS Construction Site Remains Off Limits

The LCLS webcams and online construction dashboard make it possible to track construction progress without actually entering the job site. Above, the view from webcam "Bird 2."

Tunneling activities may have ended last week, but construction on the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) is still in full swing. The site along PEP Ring Road continues to be very active with heavy equipment, and remains off limits to everyone not directly involved in the construction activities. This site represents an extreme danger to anyone who is not properly trained for area-specific hazards.

Unauthorized SLAC employees must also refrain from driving through the construction site—Interaction Region 2 and the BaBar control room continue to be accessible only from the Gate 17 side of PEP Ring Road.

Safety is always SLAC's top priority, and reinforcing this during LCLS construction is imperative.

Conservation Tip of the Week

Learn ways to cut your energy use by tracking your energy costs with a home energy audit. An energy audit will show you which areas of your home use the most energy and help you decide the most effective way to reduce energy costs. You can conduct a simple audit yourself, contact your local utility, or call an independent energy auditor for a more comprehensive examination. Check your home's insulation levels and check for open fireplace dampers. Look for holes or cracks around doors, light and plumbing fixtures, and other places where air may leak into or out of your home. Make sure your appliances, furnace and A/C systems are properly maintained, and study your family's lighting needs and use patterns.


Access (see all)

(see all | submit)

 Lab Announcements

Community Bulletin Board

News (see all | submit)

dividing line
(Office of Science/U.S. DOE Logo)

View online at