Monday, July 13, 2015
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Fermilab Art Gallery, Arts and Lecture Series join together to bring the noise

"La Gloria Cubana" by Jeremiah Lee is on display as part of the exhibit "On That Note" in the Fermilab Art Gallery. The exhibit will be up until Sept. 10.

On the second floor of Wilson Hall, embedded in a series of nine 12-by-12-inch prints, there is a lithograph of a girl floating against a brick wall. The image is full of holes: The wall is spotted with them, and the girl, who is entangled in vines, has a hole in her chest.

"It's about missing somebody," said Deborah Lader, the artist. "It's as simple as that."

Lader, who is also a musician, recorded a song to accompany the print. Both works belong to a portfolio titled "Soundcheck," a collection of music and handmade prints from Lader's workshop, the Chicago Printmakers Collaborative. The portfolio is currently featured in the Fermilab Art Gallery as part of an exhibit called "On That Note." The exhibit, which runs until Sept. 10, highlights artists who deal with visual sound and the exploration of music through art.

Guitars made from cigar boxes and oak, laser-cut wood reliefs that turn tunes such as "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" into geometric forms, historic tintypes of musicians, and a giant map of Chicago stretched across the wall like a drum are just some of the ways artists chose to visualize sound. In the corner of the gallery, Erik Ramberg's piece, "Dark Music in the Deep," lights up red and white as it translates dark matter data from the CDMS experiment in Minnesota into different noises. The exhibit features two Fermilab employees: Ramberg, in the Particle Physics Division, and Chris Olsen, the photographer of the historic tintypes, in the Accelerator Division.

To continue the theme of music and art, Lader's band, Sons of the Never Wrong, will play a concert after the artist reception on July 18 as part of the Fermilab Arts and Lecture Series. Lader said with a laugh that although they're a folk trio, folkies think they're not folksy enough. This will be the second time that Sons of the Never Wrong have performed at Fermilab.

For Georgia Schwender, Fermilab Art Gallery curator, one of the most exciting things about the exhibit is the collaboration of performing and visual arts. Schwender said that while Fermilab has a strong visual program and a strong performing arts program, when you put them together they become even more compelling.

"Taking what exists and combining it to make it more powerful is the crux of this show," Schwender said. "It's like a puzzle. You put all these pieces together and you get something really complete."

The artist reception for "On That Note" will take place on Saturday, July 18, from 5-7 p.m. Tickets for the Sons of the Never Wrong concert on July 18 at 8 p.m. are available for purchase at the door or by calling 630-840-2787.

Ali Sundermier

In the News

Has physics cried wolf too often, or do false alarms help build understanding?

From The Guardian, July 5, 2015

Last week I wrote about a possible signal for exciting new physics, seen in data from the two big "general purpose detectors" at CERN's Large Hadron Collider. I was trying as carefully as I could to steer a course between being over-excited and overly conservative. It is difficult to be sure that your judgement is correct in such cases, but it is important to try. After all to quote Richard Feynman, in science, "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool" ... and if you understate a result through caution, you might feel almost as foolish as if you got carried away and claimed too much.

Now in the case I discussed it is not so serious, because the uncertainties involved are mainly statistical - that is, random - and that kind of uncertainty gets reduced automatically if you collect more data. And there are more data on the way. So if we're fools, we won't be fooled for long either way, and in the meantime we have a duty to publish what we see.

Read more

Tip of the Week: Cybersecurity

Buyer beware: skimming dangers on and offline

Sometimes a camera is installed near ATMs and check-out registers to record the PIN or zip code you enter when making a debit card withdrawal or purchase. Use your hand as a shield to hide your PIN entry. Photo: William Grootonk

Every summer brings the familiar family vacation: maybe a road trip or a flight overseas, plus some well-earned out-of-town shopping. Summer is also the time to get an early jump on back-to-school sales. Each of these activities brings possibly unexpected dangers. By now you are all alert for phishing and spam trying to harvest your passwords or other identity information. But even the best cyber hygiene may not protect against all threats.

One common way to steal money is to directly access personal information from your credit or debit card using devices called skimmers. These devices, placed over a card slot, copy your credit or debit card information from the magnetic strip on your card upon insertion. Skimmers have gotten smaller and more sophisticated and can even transmit the stolen data wirelessly.

Whenever you insert your credit card into any device, check to make sure the slot is secure — skimmers are often placed over a legitimate slot. Some have a nearby camera installed to record the PIN or zip code you enter. Use your hand as a shield when entering information. At gas stations, try to use the pumps within view of the cashier or attendant. Be careful if a card is required for entry to an ATM booth; sometimes the door slot may have a skimmer attached.

Use familiar ATMs. Every ATM is at risk for skimmers. The standalone ATM that sits in a rural convenience store is more likely to be compromised than the one at your bank branch in a well-trafficked area. Use ATMs in view of people. Some ATMs have been physically broken into to install a wiretap — the damage would be covered by suspicious decals.

Check balances frequently. This includes credit and bank statements. Sometimes "micro" transactions (charges in a very small amount) are used simply to verify if a card is still good. Be wary of these.

Additionally, should a travel agency or tour company ask for scans of your passport or credit card to be emailed to them, kindly ask for another method of transmission (by fax, for example). Email accounts are easily compromised, so do not send private information via email.

A little bit of caution can go a long way, so be careful. Have a fun and safe summer!

Art Lee

Photo of the Day

On the rocks

A bullfrog lays low in the pond in front of Wilson Hall. Photo: Bridget Scerini, TD
In the News

Cosmologists look beyond Standard Model

From EarthSky, July 8, 2015

What are the mysterious dark matter and dark energy that seem to account for so much of our universe? Why is the universe expanding? For the past 30 years, most cosmologists have looked to a theory from particle physics called the Standard Model for answers to these questions. They've had good success in matching observational data to this theory. But not everything fits the predictions, and cosmologists wonder why the discrepancies exist. Are they interpreting the observations wrong? Or is a more fundamental rethink required? This week (July 7, 2015), at a special session at the National Astronomy Meeting (NAM) 2015 in Wales, cosmologists met to take stock of the evidence and stimulate further investigation of cosmology beyond the Standard Model.

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