Fermilab Today Monday, March 12, 2007

Mon., March 12
10:00 a.m. Research Techniques Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: M. Goncharov, Texas A&M University
Title: Calorimeter Timing System at CDF
2:30 p.m. Particle Astrophysics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: H. Peiris, KICP Chicago
Title: Understanding Cosmic Accelerations: Connecting Theory and Observation
3:30 p.m. DIRECTOR'S COFFEE BREAK - 2nd Flr X-Over
4:00 p.m. All Experimenters' Meeting - Curia II
Special Topics: Sloan Survey II (E-949) Status and Future Plans;
Modeling of the Booster Beam

Tue., March 13
3:30 p.m. DIRECTOR'S COFFEE BREAK - 2nd Flr Crossover
4:00 p.m. Accelerator Physics and Technology Seminar - 1 West
Speaker: D. Li, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Title: Normal Conducting RF Cavity R&D for Neutrino Factory or Muon Collider

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


WeatherMostly Cloudy 55°/45°

Extended Forecast
Weather at Fermilab

Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe
Monday, March 12

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, March 14
-Beef Fajitas
-Pico de Gallo
-Rice and Beans
-Rum Pecan Cake

Thursday, March 15
-Fontina and Prosciutto Crepes
-Scampi with Fettuccine
-Apricot Tart

Chez Leon Menu
Call x4598 to make your reservation.


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The first gurgling of spring

First in a series of four articles on lab ecology.

Male woodcocks show up in the Main Ring in March and April to form mating-display arenas known as "leks."

It's getting more obvious everyday: spring is here. But what are the very early, less obvious signs around the lab that most of us miss?

"I've got one word for you: sex," said Fermilab ecologist Rod Walton. "Everything has to do with mating and getting out there early." Those of us who hurry to our cars in this brisk weather may not have noticed the wood frogs mating in the snow. And the geese have started pairing up, too. Two weeks ago, a pair of Canada Geese reportedly hung out around the auditorium, eyeing an area near the entrance for nesting. "We'll watch them and fence the area off it looks like they are going to nest there," said Dave Shemanske of Roads and Grounds. "It's not good if the birds settle in near doorways, as geese have hostile reactions when people approach their nest."

A sign of spring you will hear but not see are the rust and gray Sandhill Cranes that fly high above Fermilab. As they migrate west from Indiana, their gurgling-trumpeting call carries for miles. "You'll be walking along and hear it, but won't see anything because they are way up in the distance," said Fermilab birder (and physicist) Peter Kasper, who heard the first gurgling of the spring last Thursday.

More obvious signs have also popped up: Mallards swim in pairs, cardinals make what Kasper's wife, Penny, calls a "guinea pig sound," and two weeks ago, the chickadees switched from their classic namesake call to a plaintive, two-note, "dee-deeee" whistle. Kasper has not seen the woodcocks yet, but he expects them soon. The long-beaked, neckless woodcocks spend the dusky hours from March to April inside the Main Ring. Though woodcocks rarely vocalize, their specially adapted wings make plenty of noise. "The males make a 'beep beep' sound just before they take off," said Kasper. "Then they make a roller coaster flight high in the air, and as they dive, they make a 'whoo whooo whooo' noise from their tail and spiral back down with a series of chirping noises. It's one of these semimystical things." Still, his favorite sign of spring comes from the red-winged blackbirds: "You know that spring is here when you hear that first 'koo-koo-ree.' "

--Siri Steiner

You can learn more about recent bird sightings, and find links to organized bird outings, here.

Photo of the Day

Speaking of birds: Tim Koeth sent this picture of a hawk on Friday. He writes: "Last night I caught this Red-tailed Hawk looking for dinner near the F4 and A0 buildings."

In the News

The New York Times Magazine,
March 11, 2007:

Out There

Three days after learning that he won the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics, George Smoot was talking about the universe. Sitting across from him in his office at the University of California, Berkeley, was Saul Perlmutter, a fellow cosmologist and a probable future Nobelist in Physics himself. Bearded, booming, eyes pinwheeling from adrenaline and lack of sleep, Smoot leaned back in his chair. Perlmutter, onetime acolyte, longtime colleague, now heir apparent, leaned forward in his.

"Time and time again," Smoot shouted, "the universe has turned out to be really simple."

Read More
Safety Tip of the Week

Back works

Judi Andersen is a physical therapist with Back Works Joint & Spine Rehabilitation Specialists. Over the ten years that she has been under contract to Fermilab, Judi has probably trained every employee on back care. Her triennial Back Works refresher on March 1 contained a wealth of practical advice. Here are some of the key points from the experience.

Maintain the "S": Viewed from the side, a healthy back makes a subtle "S" shape. Most of back health comes down to maintaining this shape as we go about our business.

Stay fit: Strengthen back, abdominal and gluteal muscles. Include activities that impose rhythmic up-and-down forces on the spine. Don't remain in one position longer than 20 minutes. Avoid obesity and smoking since they contribute to disk degeneration.

Helpful postures: When standing, try to rest one foot slightly higher than the other. When sitting, bend hips and knees to 90 degrees and place feet flat to the floor. Pivot with your feet rather than twist your back.

Judi added that she is seeing an increasing number of back problems associated with prolonged use of computers and electronic games. The difficulty is that people are simply sitting in one poor posture for prolonged periods. Instead, they should use good neutral positions and move around at least 2-3 times per hour.

Safety Tip of the Week Archive

Special Announcement

String Theory in two minutes

Discover magazine is hosting a contest for two-minute videos on string theory. The winning video will be selected by Columbia University physicist Brian Greene, best-selling author of The Elegant Universe and The Fabric of the Cosmos, and broadcast on the homepage of Discover.com. Deadline to submit is March 16; find more details online.

Accelerator Update
March 7 - 9
- Two stores provided 44 hours and 44 minutes of luminosity
- Pbar conducting reverse protons studies
- NuMI conducting 11 batch slipstacking studies
- Feeder work on Monday will hold off beam in TeV

Read the Current Accelerator Update
Read the Early Bird Report
View the Tevatron Luminosity Charts


Attention Fermilab Hiring Managers
It is time to consider your summer employment hiring needs. The Summer Employment Request form is now available online. Simply complete the online form, print out for signatures, and return to the Employment office at MS 124. Completed requisitions received by March 30th will receive priority.

Fermilab Folk Club Barn Dance
There will be a Fermilab Folk Club Barn Dance Sunday, March 18 at 2 p.m. with music by the Joe Samojedny & Fred Campeau and calling by Paul Tyler. More information online.

Chicago Blackhawk Tickets
Enjoy the thrills of Blackhawks hockey with your family, friends and co-workers at up to 50 percent off regular ticket prices. Purchase discount tickets to the following games: Blackhawks vs. Kings on March 23 at 7:30 p.m., Blackhawks vs. Flames on March 25 at 2:00 p.m., Blackhawks vs. Oilers on April 1 at 2:00 p.m. Information, order forms and seating chart are available in the Recreation Office or online.

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