Monday, June 1, 2015
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Muscle Toning registration due June 2

Bill Kurtis presents "How the American Diet is Killing You" - June 3

Register now for LArSoft Workshop on June 3

Annual domestic hydrant flushing - June 6-7

Fermilab pool open June 9, memberships available

Managing Conflict (half-day) on June 10

International folk dancing Thursday evenings through June 11

Pilates registration

WalkingWorks week two winners

WalkingWorks program begins - register now

Wednesday Walkers

Pedometers available for WalkingWorks program

Fermilab Board Game Guild

Swim lessons at Fermilab Pool

Adult water aerobics at Fermilab Pool

Outdoor soccer

Scottish country dancing meets Tuesday evenings at Kuhn Barn

English country dancing at Kuhn Barn

H4 Training discount for Fermilab employees


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Sharing stories, reconnecting at the annual Farmers Picnic

Farmers Picnic attendees enjoy food and conversation in Kuhn Barn on May 16. Photo: Bob Bambic

On Saturday, May 16, about 110 people gathered in Kuhn Barn for the 18th annual Farmers Picnic. This potluck brings together people who lived on the Fermilab site before the lab was established, many of whom farmed the land for generations. The event gives guests the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and neighbors and share their memories of the communities that existed here before the lab.

View pictures from this year's picnic and previous picnics. You can learn more about the history of the families on the Fermilab history website.

The picnic is organized by the Fermilab Site History Committee, which is made up of Fermilab employees who volunteer their time to the event. The committee and the picnic attendees are grateful for the support of the Directorate, which allows the lab to host this event.

Fermilab Site History Committee

About 110 people turned out for the picnic. Photo: Bob Bambic
Video of the Day

How to make a cloud chamber

Samatha Kranthijanya, daughter of Fermilab resident physicists Sowjanya Gollapinni and Kranti Gunthoti, demonstrates how to build a cloud chamber for detecting cosmic rays. View the five-minute video. Video: Kranti Gunthoti
Photo of the Day

Minding our own business

A coyote and geese at Bulrush Pond are happy to ignore each other. Photo: Bridget Scerini, TD
In the News

A new theory to explain the Higgs mass

From Quanta Magazine, May 27, 2015

Three physicists who have been collaborating in the San Francisco Bay Area over the past year have devised a new solution to a mystery that has beleaguered their field for more than 30 years. This profound puzzle, which has driven experiments at increasingly powerful particle colliders and given rise to the controversial multiverse hypothesis, amounts to something a bright fourth-grader might ask: How can a magnet lift a paperclip against the gravitational pull of the entire planet?

Despite its sway over the motion of stars and galaxies, the force of gravity is hundreds of millions of trillions of trillions of times weaker than magnetism and the other microscopic forces of nature. This disparity shows up in physics equations as a similarly absurd difference between the mass of the Higgs boson, a particle discovered in 2012 that controls the masses and forces associated with the other known particles, and the expected mass range of as-yet-undiscovered gravitational states of matter.

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Tip of the Week: Sustainability

Rain gardens for wildlife

Roads and Grounds recently built a rain garden by the Wilson Street entrance. Staff used on-site materials to stabilize the edges and planted native plants beyond the drainage outlet to absorb runoff. See below for the before photo. Photo: Richard Garcia, FESS

Fermilab is working hard to stem the tide of on-site stormwater runoff contamination, which is a rising concern among environmental scientists. Both native plantings and effective roadside designs are essential tools we use to combat pollutants and reduce the amount of water entering storm sewers.

Stormwater contamination comes from vehicles and other urban developments, such as roofs, driveways, walkways, parking lots and compacted lawn areas, after a rain event.

As part of last year's upgrades to the laboratory security entrances, Roads and Grounds implemented a rain garden and vegetated swale at the Wilson Street entrance. A rain garden is usually a small, shallow depressed area that takes advantage of rainfall and runoff. It promotes water ponding rather than runoff. A vegetated swale is a gradual and broad sloping of the ground with plantings that encourage infiltration and proper conveyance of water.

The rain garden acts as an overflow catchment for the runoff passing through the swale and surrounding landscape. Together the systems collect rainwater and allow more to naturally percolate into the ground. This in turn allows the plants to absorb more water and to filter out most of the contaminants from the surface runoff, preventing the contaminants from making their way to our streams and rivers.

To avoid damaging the existing maple trees, we used rock to extend the drainage outlet beyond the trees so as not to disturb the roots.

We also selected native plants, mainly prairie grasses and wildflowers, that are able to adapt to the site conditions. They can take occasional flooding and can also survive periods of drought. They require less maintenance than typical lawn grass, and they add ecological benefits. Unlike foreign ornamental plants that have not adapted to the local ecosystem, native plants host beneficial insects and encourage wildlife to flourish in the area. Deep-rooted native plants allow for further infiltration into the soil.

Rain gardens can also be installed at home in places where water already collects, for example near downspouts coming off roofs. The garden becomes irrigated after rain events, cutting down on maintenance and removing the need for weekly mowing. It also supports habitat for birds and butterflies while providing an attractive landscape feature.

By selecting native plantings and combining them with a rain garden, you can have a positive effect on our delicate water resources and degrading wildlife habitat — one that is adaptable to our local climate.

Richard Garcia

Before the rain garden construction: Roads and Grounds determined that this location by the Wilson Street entrance would be a good place for a rain garden based on its sunlit areas and water flow direction, as well as other site conditions. See above for the after photo. Photo: Richard Garcia
In the News

Physicist Leon Lederman's Nobel Prize medal sells for $765,000

From NBC News, May 28, 2015

The Nobel Prize gold medal that physicist Leon Lederman won in 1988 was auctioned off on Thursday for a winning bid of $633,335, plus a buyer's premium that brought the final price to $765,002.

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