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In this issue:
People: John Weisskopf Rides for Good Cause
Seen around SLAC: Taking License

SLAC Today

Wednesday - October 27, 2010

John Weisskopf Rides for Good Cause

John Weisskopf and his ride. (Photo by Catherine Meyers.)

Leather jackets, riding gloves and sturdy boots are all part of the typical attire for a motorcycle enthusiast. But for SLAC technical operations manager John Weisskopf, the look is often completed with a pink, breast-cancer awareness ribbon.

Since 2003, Weisskopf has been volunteering his time and talents—since 2005, as a member of the motorcycle crew—at the annual San Francisco Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. The walk, which raises money for breast cancer research and medical outreach, takes participants on a 39-mile route through Marin County and into the heart of downtown San Francisco. Weisskopf's job is to ensure that walkers are kept safe on crowded city streets and at intersections.

Being part of the motorcycle crew was a natural choice for Weisskopf. Although relatively new to the motorcycle world (he started riding when he was 54), he quickly became an avid biker.

"I needed something new and exciting to do in my life," said Weisskopf, who admitted there might have been some element of a mid-life crisis in his decision to start riding. But even though motorcycles may invoke ideas of youthfulness and freedom, the hobby has also yielded at least one practical benefit: "I ride my motorcycle almost every day to work, except when I know it's going to rain," Weisskopf explained, noting that his 70-mile commute time is often shortened when on a motorcycle.  Read more...

(Photo - license plate 'SLACIT')
(Photo courtesy Norm Ringgold.)

Seen around SLAC:
Taking License

At least three SLACers have found inspiration in their employment for personalized license plates.

Norm Ringgold, head of the Computing Division's IT Infrastructure and Operations group, is both a SLAC staffer and a SLAC booster, and not afraid to let anyone know.

(Photo - license plate 'SSRL BLE')
(Photo by Lori Ann White.)

"I chose 'SLACIT' to show my SLAC colors wherever I drive," he said. "I'm very proud of the extraordinary scientific research that my organization supports here."

Alex Garchtchenko, who heads the Beamline Electronics group at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, thinks "SSRL BLE" pretty much speaks for itself.

(Photo - license plate 'SA ENGR')
(Photo by Lori Ann White.)

And Javier A. Sevilla, of the Facilities Engineering, Project and Construction Management group, actually likes a little ambiguity. According to Sevilla, the "SA" in his SA ENGR" could stand for "software application"—except he's not a computer engineer. Or it could stand for "South American"—except he's from Nicaragua, which is in Central America. But since he's had the license plate for 10 of his 16 years at SLAC, "Stanford Accelerator" is the interpretation that usually wins out.


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