SLAC Today is available online at:
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In this issue:
SLAC Adds Second Blackbox
Bill Wisniewski: Everything in Moderation
Reminder: SLAC Blood Drive Today
Save the Date: Let's Talk About Stroke
Conservation Tip of the Week

SLAC Today

Wednesday - April 2, 2008

SLAC Adds Second Blackbox

A second Blackbox was recently added to expand on SLAC's computational power. (Click image for larger version.)

Growing demand for computing power spurred the decision to obtain a second Sun Microsystems Blackbox at SLAC. To meet significant amounts of streaming data from ATLAS and GLAST simulation and mock data challenges, as well as BaBar's final data, a second Blackbox has been secured adjacent to the first one, installed last year behind the electrical substation at Building 50.

The largely self-contained data center is an efficient way to boost SLAC's overall computing capacity and is quicker and easier than building additional building space.

"We needed the additional capacity this year," Scientific Computing and Commuting Services (SCCS) Assistant Director Chuck Boeheim said. "With the first Blackbox working out very well, we invested in a second to meet increasing need." Read more...

(Weekly Column - Profile)

Bill Wisniewski: Everything in Moderation


Bill Wisniewski (Click image for larger version.)

The stacks of paper in Bill Wisniewski’s office attest to the time he spends working. But, like the rest of us, the BaBar technical coordinator balances his professional life by pursuing outside interests.

A man of peculiar tastes, Wisniewski squeezes in stimulation by going to the opera, sampling wine and studying Gothic architecture.

"I was always fascinated with the Middle Ages," he said. "Gothic architecture was a natural outgrowth of that."

Gothic architecture captured Wisniewski’s attention in grade school. Growing up in Brooklyn, he explains, there were not many buildings to supplement what he learned from books. Since then, Wisniewski has visited cathedrals, abbeys and churches all across France, England and Germany.

"In Burgundy it was interesting to see gothic elements that I’d read about, in action," he said "That’s when it clicked that what one art historian had written wasn't crazy."

In grad school, a neighboring student would occasionally pass opera tickets to Wisniewski. But it wasn't until he saw Giuseppe Verdi's "Otello" with Plácido Domingo in L.A. that his affinity with opera took concrete shape. Read more...

Reminder:
SLAC Blood Drive Today

SLAC hosts a blood drive today in the Panofsky Auditorium Breezeway. Learn more...

Save the Date:
Let's Talk About Stroke

Next Tuesday afternoon, Palo Alto resident Bob Parsons will present "Let's Talk About Stroke." The lecture will describe what it feels like to have a stroke, how to recognize the symptoms in yourself and others, and how to respond to this life-threatening event. Parsons will also present where to go for treatment, will describe the different types of treatments available and offer tips on how to reduce the risk of stroke.

The talk will take place from 12 to 1 p.m. in Panofsky Auditorium. All are invited to attend.

Conservation Tip
of the Week

Recently my wife went on a campaign to purchase reusable grocery bags. What a great idea! Here are some interesting statistics I gathered from the Earth Share website.

If you grocery shop once a week, in five years you'll have kept about 250 to 1,000 grocery bags out of landfills. When one ton of plastic bags are reused or recycled, the energy equivalent of 11 barrels of oil is saved. Many grocery stores have implemented bag recycling programs, but transportation of these bags to and from stores require valuable resources. And, 99% of the 100 billion plastic shopping bags (that's right, 100 billion) used in the U.S. are never recycled, with a single bag taking up to 1,000 years to fully break down. Ouch! What can you do?

Bring your own cloth or fabric bags when you shop. It makes sense and only costs pennies.

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