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In this issue:
People: Solving Puzzles with Steve Kahn
Spurious SLAC Today E-mails
Earth Day Events Today
Secretary Chu to Testify for Earth Day Hearing
WIS Seminar Today: Vascular Disease

SLAC Today

Wednesday - April 22, 2009

People: Solving Puzzles with Steve Kahn

(Photo)
Steve Kahn, with an artist's conception of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope in the background. (Photo by Lauren Schenkman.)

Experimental cosmologist Steve Kahn loves wrestling with the snarls and tangles of a good conundrum—even when he's off the clock.

"I'm an avid fanatic of crossword puzzles," Kahn said, "particularly the hard ones." In the well-known sequence of the New York Times crosswords, he prefers Fridays and Saturdays, puzzles not for the faint of heart.

"What makes them hard is that the clues aren't constraining; they don't uniquely point to an answer," Kahn said. "So you have to keep all these possibilities in your mind at the same time, and find a way that it kind of locks in and shows you the potential answers are correct."

Problems of the most diabolical and vexing sort delight Kahn's scientific palate as well. He even admits to overlooking a question with a potentially more interesting answer for another one that promises more noggin scratching and hair pulling.

"This is overly simplistic, but there are sort of two kinds of scientists," he explained. "One kind is mostly interested in the answers, and the other is more interested in the process. I'm more in the process category."  Read more...

Spurious SLAC Today E-mails

Apologies to all who received two false mailings from the SLAC Today e-mail list yesterday. SLAC computing staff have made some changes that should block future occurrences.

(Image - Earth Day poster)

Earth Day Events Today

Today is Earth Day 2009. Special events at SLAC will highlight the Department of Energy theme, "New Energy for America." Join the celebration and consider ways to make your energy use leaner, cleaner and more independent of foreign oil.

SLAC will host Earth Day activities in the Panofsky Auditorium Breezeway from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers and vendors from companies like Akeena Solar, PG&E, Grainger and Jensen Landscaping will present educational materials and green products—including a smart car. Come before 2 p.m. to enter a raffle for a new cruiser bicycle.

For online tips on green living, see the DOE's special Earth Day home page (during Earth Week 2009 only).

Secretary Chu to Testify for Earth Day Hearing

In a special Earth Day hearing today in Washington, DC, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson will testify before a joint hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Energy and Environment Subcommittee. The three Cabinet members will discuss the importance of ending our dependence on foreign oil, creating the clean energy jobs of the future and addressing the global climate crisis.

WIS Seminar Today: Vascular Disease

(Photo - B. William Lewis)
B. William Lewis.

If your legs ever feel tired, achy or restless, you may have venous insufficiency. This highly under-diagnosed and under-treated condition commonly manifests as varicose veins and spider veins. To learn more about its causes and what you can do about it, come to Panofsky Auditorium today from noon to 1 p.m. for "Vascular Disease—Getting Closure on Varicose Veins." The talk is co-sponsored by the Women's Interchange at SLAC and the SLAC chapter of the Red Hat Society.

Physician Douglas Lewis will discuss proper diagnosis and non-surgical approaches to help individuals "get closure" on abnormal leg veins. Lewis is a board certified vascular and interventional radiologist with extensive clinical experience. His talk is free and open to all.

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