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Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Planck Aims for the Definitive CMB Analysis

The Planck Surveyor, Europe's first satellite to study the cosmic microwave background, is on schedule for launch Thursday, May 14, at 6:12 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time. In a tandem launch, Planck shares the ride with Herschel, another European Space Agency (ESA) satellite with a different mission, aboard an Ariane 5 rocket (pictured) from the ESA's base in French Guiana. George Smoot, who partnered in the original design, is on hand for the launch. Following the successful launch, Today at Berkeley Lab will have more on Berkeley Lab's long and continuing involvement with Planck, including Smoot's role and Julian Borrill's leadership of the data analysis effort for the U.S. Planck team. Watch the countdown and launch live.

Stimulus: Website for Lab's Recovery-Act Activities Launched

websiteBerkeley Lab has launched a new website for all activities related to the $115.8 million in stimulus funds received from the Department of Energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). This site ( will list all ARRA-funded projects as the money is received and also serve as a resource for researchers and businesses interested in learning more about how to apply for stimulus funding. Opportunities will be posted as they become available. So far, the Lab has received $42.8 million for seven construction and maintenance projects.

In The News: Myths About Compact Fluorescent Bulbs Busted

CFL[Yahoo Green] The benefits associated with using compact fluorescent bulbs are hardly a secret. Each CFL uses about 75 percent less energy than an incandescent bulb, lasts longer, and saves about $30 over the course of its lifetime. For every benefit, though, it seems there is a compelling reason to avoid CFLs. In most circumstances, it's simply a case of mispercentions. Francis Rubinstein, with Berkeley Lab's Environmental Energy Technologies Divisions, helps uncover the facts behind three common myths. More>

Special Event: Tomorrow is Bike to Work Day; Ride Safely

BTWDTomorrow is the annual Bike to Work Day celebration, when employees are encouraged to try a two-wheeled commute to their jobs. The event was created to help promote a healthier lifestyle and reduce the environmental impact caused by cars. Since the Lab is home to many intimidating hills, staff can ride to shuttle bus stops in downtown Berkeley and load their bikes on racks. Riders can stop by one of many area energizer stations on their way in, and use Google maps to determine routes. Participants should follow all bicycle safety guidelines, including wearing helmets (required) and reflective materials, obeying traffic signals and stop signs, and drivers should exercise caution. Visit the Lab's Bicycle Coalition website for information on their efforts to promote riding to work, including a list of onsite shower facilities.

graduationSpecial Event: UC Berkeley Graduations to Start; Ceremonies Will Impact Local Traffic

UC Berkeley's commencement season starts this Friday and continues through the end of the month. Berkeley Lab physicist Richard Muller will provide the address for the Political Science Department on May 18. The graduation ceremonies can have a serious impact on traffic, affecting those who commute to and from the Lab. Staff can check the department ceremony schedule to help plan their travel. The main commencement convocation will be held Friday, May 22 at the nearby Greek Theater.

EH&S: Online Hazardous Waste Generator Training Now Available

The classroom Hazardous Waste Generator Training (EHS0604) has been replaced with an online version. This is an interactive course that has been significantly revised. It provides information to Lab employees on the hazards and controls associated with managing hazardous waste here. Go here to access the course. For more information contact Gale Moline (X4826).

Construction: Bevatron Demolition Project Requires Lane Closure Tomorrow Morning

A portion of the downhill lane of Smoot Road near the Bevatron (Building 51) will be closed tomorrow, from about 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., to accommodate work in the Bevatron parking lot (B51). Flaggers will direct traffic. Drivers and pedestrians are urged to use caution when traversing this area and follow flagger instructions and posted signage.

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