SLAC Today is available online at:
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In this issue:
Watch GLAST Launch This Morning!
People Today: The Friendliest Private Guy at SLAC
Blood Drive Today: Give a Pint, Get a Pint
Conservation Tip: Summertime and the Living is...

SLAC Today

Wednesday - June 11, 2008

(Photo - GLAST launches)
The GLAST spacecraft launches from Cape Canaveral. (Photo courtesy of NASA.)

GLAST Roars into Space

The Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) successfully launched into space this morning at 9:05 a.m. Pacific Time.

Congratulations to everyone involved in the GLAST mission!

SLAC managed the development of the GLAST's main instrument, the Large Area Telescope (LAT), and runs the Instrument Science Operations Center, which will process data for the duration of the mission. Once in orbit, GLAST will open a wide window on the universe through the study of gamma rays, the highest-energy form of light. Data from this new observatory will enable scientists to answer persistent questions across a broad range of topics including supermassive black-hole systems, pulsars, the origin of cosmic rays and searches for signals of new physics.

The first data from the LAT is expected to reach SLAC in about a month's time. Until then, learn more about GLAST and the LAT at the SLAC GLAST public website.

(Weekly Column - Profile)

The Friendliest Private Guy at SLAC


Alphonso Jones

Alphonso Jones is a pretty private guy. Or so he says. Private as he may be, he doesn't shy away from talking about his great passion for fishing. Get him going and he'll even open up about this family's deep connection with fishing. So while Jones may be one of the more private people you'll meet at SLAC, he's also one of the friendliest.

Most passionate fishers enjoy the glory of the catch, and the tasty fish fry that follows. But Jones admits with a laugh, "I don't really eat that much fish."

His love of the sport has more to do with the quiet outdoor setting. "The boat is like an island," he says. "I can invite anyone I want on it. I like being able to set my own tone and pace."

As far back as his teenage years, Jones remembers being enchanted by lakes. He vividly recalls a road trip he took right after high school, from his home town of Pixley, California, to Chicago, Illinois. His memories are still clear of the many hidden and secluded lakes that he and his friends found along the way. Now, he says he might like to go explore the lakes of the south, or return to Chicago and see more of the Great Lakes.

Jones has been at SLAC for over 25 years. As he talks about the many people he’s known at SLAC, he repeats the idea that he's a private guy; yet fishing has always been something that bonds him with colleagues. "There were people I'd see every week and, you know, we'd just say 'hello, how are you;' but then someone finds out you love fishing and they say 'Hey, I love fishing!' It's amazing how much you learn about people then," Jones said.

Each year, Jones and his "best fishing buddy"—his wife—make two trips to Lake Shasta: their favorite fishing destination. They are usually joined by friends and family, including Jones’ mother, who turned 93 this year. "There's nothing like sharing the experience of a fishing trip with someone. I'm very passionate about it."

Blood Drive Today:
Give a Pint, Get a Pint

(Logo)SLAC will host a blood drive in the Panofsky Auditorium Lobby today from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. This drive is open to all members of the SLAC community and the general public.

Each donor will receive a coupon for a free pint of Baskin-Robbins ice cream.

To schedule an appointment online, log onto the Stanford Blood Center website and click on "Find a Blood Drive." Then click on "Mobile Drive Scheduler" and enter sla5323 in the "Sponsor Code" box. Click on the date of the drive and then follow the prompts to schedule your appointment.

Appointments will be given priority, but walk-ins are always welcome!

More information...

Conservation Tip:
Summertime and the Living is...

Here come the sun and the heat. Summer may not begin for another few weeks, but it's already past time to protect yourself from excessive exposure to the ultraviolet rays (UV). Natural UV radiation has increased over the years due to the gradual depletion of the ozone layer, which acts as a natural filter. For some people, overexposure to UV rays can lead to skin cancer, cataracts and weakened immune systems. To help protect against sun-related damage, follow these simple rules (offered to us by Earthshare.org):

Wear those shades: Sunglasses that provide 99-100% UVA and UVB protection greatly reduce sun exposure that can lead to cataracts and other eye damage. Be sure to check the label when buying sunglasses to make sure they have proper UV protection.

Lather on the sunscreen: Use a sunscreen with Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15. Apply it liberally to all exposed areas of your body, particularly your ears, face, back and neck. Reapply every 2 hours when working, playing or exercising outdoors; even waterproof sunscreen can come off when you towel off sweat or water.

Listen to the weather reports: The UV Index, developed by the National Weather Service and the Environmental Protection Agency, provides a forecast of the expected risk of overexposure to the sun and indicates the degree of caution that you should take outdoors. Weather predictions in print and broadcast media announce the UV Index daily.

Stay clear of the midday sun as much as possible: The sun's UV rays are strongest between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. If you're spending the day at the beach, take refuge under an umbrella during these hours.

Dress for the sun: If you can't wear sunscreen, then wear light, long-sleeved shirts and ankle-length pants when you're going to be out in the sun for long periods of time. A wide brimmed hat will shade your face, neck, ears and eyes as well.

Enjoy the weather and remember your protection.

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