Fermilab Today Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Furlough Information

An IDES representative will conduct group meetings at 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. in the Wilson Hall One West conference room on Friday, March 28.

New furlough information, including an up-to-date Q&A section, appears on the furlough Web pages daily.

Layoff Information

New information on Fermilab layoffs, including an up-to-date Q&A section, appears on the layoff Web pages daily.


Wednesday, March 26
3:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 27
10 a.m.
Presentations to the Physics Advisory Committee - Curia II
1 p.m.
Physics and Detector Seminar - West Wing, WH10NW
Speaker: G. Mavromanolakis, University of Cambridge
Title: CALICE Update
3:30 p.m.

Click here for NALCAL,
a weekly calendar with links to additional information.



Partly sunny

Extended Forecast
Weather at Fermilab

Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe
Wednesday, March 26
- Beef barley
- Fish & chips
- Smart cuisine: grill salmon
- Country fried steak w/pepper gravy
- Beef & cheddar panini w/sauteed onions
- Assorted pizza slices
- Cavatappi pasta w/Italian sausage & tomato ragu

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, March 26
- Roast pork calypso
- Fried plantain slices
- Black beans & rice
- Mango mousse w/coconut cookies

Thursday, March 27
- Closed

Chez Leon Menu
Call x4598 to make your reservation.


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High rise lights go out
for Earth Hour

Fermilab will shut off all nonessential lights in Wilson Hall between 8-9 p.m. Saturday as part of Earth Hour.

Wilson Hall is normally a beacon of the northwestern suburbs, standing bright 15 stories above the prairie that surrounds it. But on Saturday night, the building will join businesses, organizations and homes across the country in darkness.

No, it isn't because of the budget crisis. On Saturday, from 8-9 p.m. Fermilab will participate in Earth Hour, a global movement that hopes to deliver a powerful message about the need for action on global warming.

"By turning off the lights in Wilson Hall - the statement is visible. It reminds everyone that there is an issue that we need to be concerned about. It empowers us to some extent to know that there are things that we can do to make a difference," said Rod Walton, Fermilab ecologist.

All nonessential lights in Wilson Hall will shut off at 8 p.m., four hours earlier than normal. Lights necessary for safety and to run experiments and lights in stairwells and control rooms will remain on. Those who need to work on Saturday night should try to do so before or after 8-9 p.m. If you must work during that time, switch lights on. Please remember to switch them off when you leave. All nonessential lights that were switched on after 8 p.m. will shut off again at midnight.

"If we can reduce power to all nonessential electronics it will help to show solidarity," said Wilson Hall building manager John Kent.

Kent hopes that employees will do their part by turning off computers, task lights or any other personal electronics before going home for the weekend.

"Last year when Sydney, Australia did it, they cut energy consumption over 10 percent. If the entire world does it, we're in good shape," Walton said.

For more information on Earth Hour, visit www.earthhour.org. Building managers interested in participating in Earth Hour can contact John Kent, x4753, jwkent@fnal.gov. For questions on participation, contact Rod Walton, x2565 or rwalton@fnal.gov.

--Rhianna Wisniewski

Video of the Day

Delta Dart Night takes off

Watch a 1:53 minute YouTube video of Fermilab Barnstormers President Jim Zagel explaining the 2008 Delta Dart night, an annual event sponsored by the model airplane club. About 35 Delta Darts, small rubber band-powered airplanes, were built this year.

In the News

Three theories that might blow up the big bang

From Discover Magazine, March 25, 2008

Time may not have a beginning-and it might not exist at all.

For Paul Steinhardt and Neil Turok, the Big Bang ended on a summer day in 1999 in Cambridge, England. Sitting together at a conference they had organized, called "A School on Connecting Fundamental Physics and Cosmology," the two physicists suddenly hit on the same idea. Maybe science was finally ready to tackle the mystery of what made the Big Bang go bang. And if so, then maybe science could also address one of the deepest questions of all: What came before the Big Bang?

Read more

From the Business Services Section

Fermilab's economic impact

Dave Carlson, head of the Business Services Section, wrote today's column.

Dave Carlson

One of my long-time interests is the economics of public policy. Federal government expenditures account for about one third of the gross domestic product of the United States. Economists often study the effects of private or government investments on society. Although we weren't the subject of any official economic study, it is safe to say that Fermilab has a great impact on the people, companies and community members residing in Illinois.

When trying to understand the whole government spending story, experts consider direct and indirect consequences and the opportunity cost of not investing elsewhere. They sometimes invoke multipliers, the ripples caused by a particular program or investment on the waters surrounding the initial plunk of the pebble. Even well-researched studies along these lines are really just models of things that are hard to measure directly.

I've talked to quite a few groups about the short and long-term effects of the federal government investment in basic research at Fermilab, but today I simply want to update you on some pretty impressive things that don't require extrapolation or theory.

Fermilab's annual federal research budget in FY07 was about $350 million. Did you know that amount includes $151 million for the payroll for 1,960 employees who live throughout the Chicagoland area? Or that the same budget supports all construction, operation and all expenses for the facility, which is used by 2,300 visiting researchers and college students? Or that Fermilab spent $357 million dollars on procurements in Illinois from FY2002 - 2007?

The real excitement of how we use our share of the federal budget is in the use of technology to produce knowledge about the fundamental nature of the universe we live in. However, the way Fermilab's activity touches the local and regional economy is also worth remembering.

Safety Update

ES&H weekly report, March 25

This week's safety report, compiled by the Fermilab ES&H section, includes no reportable incidents. It has been 14 days since the last recordable incident. The full report is available here.

Safety report archive


New Computer Programming Courses
The first of five computer programming courses is offered on March 27 from 1-3:30 p.m. "To Copy or Not to Copy: A Deeper Look at Values in C++," is aimed at programmers with C++ experience. The course deals in depth with issues related to copying values in C++ programs. Attendees will learn to identify and take advantage of opportunities for improved performance and will be prepared for related new techniques that will become available in the next C++ standard. TRAIN credit will be awarded to participants. Course registration is free and now open. Future courses are at two-week intervals.

SciTech summer camps
The SciTech hands-on museum offers Science Adventure Camps for children ages 6+. Week-long camps begin on June 23 and run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fees range from $200 to $225 per week. Before- and after-care is available for an extra fee. For more information, visit the SciTech Web site.

Excel 2003 Intermediate
An intermediate class on Excel 2003 is offered. Learn how to create templates, sort and filter data, import and export data, analyze data and work with Excel on the Web. Learn more and enroll

FileMaker Pro 7 Level 2
Users needing to learn the more advanced features of FileMaker Pro and techniques of integrated database system design. Learn more and enroll

DreamWeaver CS3: Advanced
An advanced course in DreamWeaver CS3 is offered. The course is for Web site developers, Web site designers, marketing managers, Web graphic artists and Web site administrators. Learn more and enroll

Standard mileage reimbursement rate
The Internal Revenue Service and the General Services Administration have issued the 2008 standard mileage reimbursement rates as 50.5 cents per mile, effective March 19, 2008.

Going to CERN?
Take your camera! Have your photos featured in the Fermilab Remote Operations Center online gallery. Contact Elizabeth Clements for details.

Additional Activities

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