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Friday, August 27, 2010


North American Continent is Layer Cake of Rock


The North American continent is not one thick, rigid slab, but a layer cake of ancient, three billion-year-old rock on top of much newer material probably less than 1 billion years old, according to a new study by UC Berkeley seismologists, including Berkeley Lab earth scientist Barbara Romanowicz. "This is exciting because it is still a mystery how continents grow," said Romanowicz. "We think that most of the North American continent was constructed in the Archean (eon) in several episodes, perhaps as long ago as 3 billion years, though now, with the present regime of plate tectonics, not much new continent is being formed." More>

VolunteersResearch: Proxy System Helps Sleeping Computers Save Energy

In 2003, Bruce Nordman of the Environmental Energy and Techologies Division and a colleague began collaborating on an approach to reduce the energy use of network-connected devices. Called proxying, this approach hides the sleep mode state of the device from the network. The PC transfers its network presence operation to the proxy, a small portion of the hardware, while the rest of the computer’s hardware goes into its sleep mode, saving energy. “Proxying is a like your reptilian brain,” says Nordman. “It keeps your heart beating when you go to sleep, it listens for noises indicating danger and wakes you if it detects one, but it doesn’t wake you up for unnecessary reasons like birds tweeting.” More>

GravityUC Update: Letter From Yudof on Post-Employement Benefits Task Force

Within the next few days, the Task Force on Post-Employment Benefits will be submitting to University of California President Mark Yudof their final report and recommendations on ways to make the university’s retiree health and pension program financially stable. Go here to read a letter from Yudof on the report and the guiding principles he’ll be forwarding to UC Regents as they deliberate on this issue.

Facilities: Demolition of Building 25 to Start Next Month

VolunteersThe demolition of Building 25, the first of the three building removal efforts associated with the Seismic Phase 2 Project, will commence in September. The preparation of safety documents is currently in progress. Within the next couple of weeks, more noticeable efforts will be undertaken, including the installation of site fencing, and removal of some ancillary structures attached to Building 25 and rooftop mechanical equipment. Once the demolition work begins in earnest, the perimeter of Building 25 will become off-limits to parking. The demolition of Building 25 is being performed to eliminate one of the Lab’s seismically unsafe structures, and will make way for the construction of the new General Purpose Laboratory (pictured).

GravitySafety: Drive Carefully When Cyclists Are On Lab Roadways

All motorists are reminded to be especially observant when driving on Lab property. Due to the narrow width of our roads cyclists have been forced off the roads by cars, and a cyclist was struck by a car’s rear view mirror on Cyclotron Road earlier this month. Vehicles may only pass a bicyclist when there is enough room so that the rider is not in danger. Bicyclists can also help by obeying speed limits, using the proper hand signals, not riding through stop signs, and wearing a helmet (required when riding a bike at the Lab).

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