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In this issue:
Save the Date: SLAC Public Lecture on the First Star in the Universe
People Today: Linda Price Wins Gold
Earth Day Photos
Conservation Tip of the Week

SLAC Today

Wednesday - April 23, 2008

Save the Date:
SLAC Public Lecture on the First Star in the Universe

(Poster for Public Lecture)
Poster image courtesy of SLAC InfoMedia.

What was the first thing in the universea black hole or a star? How did it form? Even our biggest and best telescopes cannot tell us. Direct calculation with supercomputers, however, can. The first luminous objects in the universe were very massive stars shining one million times as brightly as our sun. They died quickly and seeded the cosmos with the chemical elements necessary for life. One star at a time, galaxies started to assemble just one hundred million years after the Big Bang, and they are still growing now.

In next Tuesday's public lecture, the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology's Tom Abel will use the latest computer animations of early star formation, supernovae explosions, and the buildup of the first galaxies to take you on a fascinating journey through the early universe. The lecture takes place on Tuesday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m. in SLAC's Panofsky Auditorium.  All are invited to attend.  Learn more...

(Weekly Column - Profile)

Linda Price Wins Gold

Linda Price performing her gold medal winning routine at Lake Placid's Olympic Center.

Linda Price does things one way: all out! Seventeen years ago, the SLAC financial analyst bought a pair of ice skates, thinking that skating would offer relief from her hectic schedule. That need for some fun snowballed into a full-blown passion.

Price started skating in competitions soon after buying those skates. Over the years, she has accumulated an impressive collection of medals, but until a few weeks ago a gold medal at the Adult National Figure Skating Championships eluded her. That all changed when she went to Lake Placid, New York, where she literally rocked the competition.

"This was really my last shot at winning gold," said Price, who has been dealing with knee problems and a torn rotator cuff in her shoulder.

Price's performance began with the costume, which she spent months on. She used fabric that had been waiting for a special purpose, she said, explaining that she has an entire room filled with fabrics. The final result: a stunning winged costume with rhinestones and other fine details.

Price tried several different pieces of music for her presentation, and eventually decided on Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven."

"Everybody needs a passion," she said, "something that makes you feel completely alive. Alone on the ice in my opening pose, waiting for the music to start, every fiber of my being knew I was alive."

Earth Day Photos

(Photo - Earth Day)
Attendees of yesterday's Earth Day celebration read about the California Native Plant Society's conservation efforts.

(Photo - Earth Day)
Jeff Watt, a design consultant from Akeena Solar, discusses how solar installation can reduce electricity usage.

Yesterday, more than 200 people visited the Panofsky Auditorium Breezeway to celebrate Earth Day. Thanks to everyone who volunteered and attended!

Conservation Tip
of the Week

If you're anything like me, you receive hundreds of unwanted junk mailings every week. I discovered you can reduce the amount of junk mail you receive by contacting two different organizations. For a small fee, the website 41pounds will contact 20-30 of the direct mailing companies and have your address removed from their database. Additionally, Catalog Choice (a free service) provides a unique filtering system that allows you to select the catalogs you wish to receive and reject the catalogs that are unsolicited. I highly recommend using eitheror bothof these services to help reduce your junk mail and ultimately your carbon footprint.

According to Earth Share, more than 100 million trees are destroyed each year to produce junk mail and 42% of timber harvested nationwide becomes pulpwood for paper. In addition, the energy used to produce and dispose of junk mail exceeds 2.8 million cars. About 28 billion gallons of water is used to produce and recycle junk mail every year, and, finally, the average American wastes about 70 hours a year dealing with junk mail.

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