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Monday, Dec. 14, 2009

Pandemic Flu

Small Amount of Lab H1N1 Shots Given; Wait List for Others

Berkeley Lab received and administered its first small shipment of H1N1 vaccine to employees in the following groups: pregnant women, caregivers of infants under 6 months old, health care and emergency medical workers, people age 6 months to 24 years, and those between 25 and 64 years old with medical conditions that put them at risk. Employees in these groups are either themselves at higher risk of complications, or have proximity to someone who is at risk. This first, limited vaccination group was identified by the Lab's Health Services and Disability Management groups. Employees who are in one of the priority groups and want to be put on a wait list for future vaccine shipments can send an e-mail here. Health Services does not yet know when additional vaccine might arrive.

lOutreach: Production of Berkeley-Darfur Stove Ramping Up in Sudan

Designed in Berkeley, California, manufactured in Mumbai, India, and assembled in Darfur, Sudan, the Berkeley-Darfur Stove will soon be distributed to thousands of displaced families to cook meals in a way that is both fuel-efficient and safe for women. Because the stove uses up to four times less wood than the traditional three-stone stoves common in Darfur, women, who often walk for hours to collect firewood, will have far less exposure to violence. More> (including slideshow)

People: Religion and Science Mix as Smoot Meets Pope

aOn the opening day of a conference at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome celebrating the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s first observations with the telescope, Berkeley Lab physicist George Smoot delivered a major address on observational cosmology to scientists and pontifical dignitaries, including Pope Benedict XVI. While the pope indicated “there is no conflict on the horizon between scientific, philosophical, and theological knowledge,” he cautioned against the risk if man “relies only on science and forgets to raise his eyes beyond himself.” Smoot was among the scientists who met the pope at an audience on the second day of the conference. More>

Cafeteria: One-Month Closure Starts Today

Staff are reminded that, starting today, the cafeteria and Peet’s Coffee Bar will be closed for about one month, reopening on Jan. 13. During the closure, coffee drinks and other beverages are available in a tent set up near the stage on the cafeteria lawn from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. A food truck will be parked near the cafeteria from 7 to 2:30 p.m. There will be no food service on Friday.

lEmployee Activity: Philanthropy Club’s Chemo Cap Project a Huge Success

Running from February to October, the Lab’s Philanthropy Club 2009 Chemo Cap Project more than doubled the success of 2008 with 458 hand-knit and crocheted caps valued at over $6,300. The caps comfort those stricken with cancer during the most difficult part of their treatment, helping suddenly bald patients feel like themselves again. The hats — made by Lab staff and their friends — were donated to numerous local agencies, including Highland Hospital, Kaiser Oakland and Richmond, and Children’s Hospital. For those who want to participate next year, a new session will start in February. Details will be announced in Today at Berkeley Lab. Contact Cynthia Sylvester (x5938) for more information. More>

lSpecial Event: Handmade Goods Take Center Stage at Craft Fair

More than 200 employees attended the Lab’s annual craft fair last Wednesday, perusing the handmade goods displayed at the event’s 25 booths. The items were created by staff as well as their friends and relatives. Among the numerous offerings were paintings by Michele Mock (pictured), with the Office of the Chief Financial Officer. She and her husband create their acrylic abstract artwork using metallic and pearlescent paints to “reflect light and the impression of movement, inspired by the beauty of nature.”

HR Benefits: Fidelity Presentation on Thursday Canceled

Because the cafeteria will be closed for nearly a month, starting today, the Lab’s HR Benefits Office has canceled the Fidelity retirement presentation and help desk session on Thursday. Go here to view an update HR Benefits event calendar.

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