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Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008
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Discard Unused Epoxy Parts As Hazardous Waste

Manufacturers send epoxy in two parts, resin and hardener, each in its own container (cans for larger jobs, or a two-chamber pump for smaller projects). Once the two parts are mixed together, the compound is no longer hazardous and can be disposed of in the trash. However, unused portions of unmixed resin or hardener are considered hazardous waste. If working with cans, bag each part in a separate bag. If unused portions are in left in the chambers of the pump, secure the stoppers to prevent inadvertent discharge of the material and place the pump in a bag. Bags should be managed as hazardous waste in your Satellite Accumulation Area (SAA). More>

Go to OurSafety for more on the Lab's safety efforts.

Taking advantage of the unusual snowfall in the surrounding hills yesterday, some anonymous staff created this cheery little snowman and placed him on the Lab's sign near Blackberry Gate.

visaHR Update: Those Needing U.S. Visas Subject to Background Checks

Recently, there has been an increase in the number of security background checks requested by U.S. Embassies and Consulates for visa applicants.  Although citizens of "sensitive countries" seem to be targeted, it could apply to any visa applicant.  Foreign nationals traveling abroad who need to apply for visas before returning to the U.S. should be prepared to undergo a security background check. Returning to the U.S. is not allowed until the process is finalized, with a wait time of up to three months. Any foreign national traveling abroad may contact Ben Ortega for consultation.

JDEMResearch News: Dark Energy Mission Gets a New Start

SNAP, the SuperNova/Acceleration Probe conceived at Berkeley Lab by the scientists who led the discovery of dark energy, was a high-priority DOE project until 2003, when NASA decided to join the Department of Energy in a Joint Dark Energy Mission (JDEM) open to other proposals. Until late this November, JDEM  competitors included SNAP and satellite designs named DESTINY and ADEPT. Now all is changed: JDEM will combine the various proposals in a spacecraft to be built by NASA with help from the DOE. Michael Levi of the Physics Division, along with Physics guest Henry Heetderks from UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Lab, heads DOE’s JDEM Project Office, which will be headquartered at Berkeley Lab. More>

scientistLDRD: FY2009 Allocations for Research Funding Announced

Berkeley Lab Director Steve Chu has announced the awards for the FY2009 Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program. A total of about $18.2 million has been allocated to date for 87 projects from a field of 165 proposals. Of these, 31 are new and 56 are continuation projects. The evaluations used input from divisional reviews and laboratory review committees. Go here to see a list of funded projects.

lawrenciumIT: New ‘Lawrencium’ Cluster is Available to PIs and Their Staff

The IT Division has made a new cluster computer named Lawrencium available to the Lab scientific community for general use. The system is a 198-node, 1584-processor core Linux cluster equipped with a high performance Infiniband interconnect. It is suitable for running a wide range of scientific applications and for developing and debugging codes to run on larger systems at national centers such as NERSC. There is no charge for the compute cycles, but there is $25/month charge per user to cover storage and backup costs. New user accounts will be phased in on a first-come, first-served basis throughout the months of December and January. More>

Shuttle Bus: Schedule Adjusted for Dec. 23 and Jan. 2

Due to the holiday break, the Lab’s shuttle service will alter its schedules on Tuesday, Dec. 23 and Friday, Jan. 2 (see below). Regular bus service will resume on Monday, Jan. 5.

Tuesday, Dec. 23: Final Departures From the Hill:
Building 65: 6:05 p.m. for the Blue Route; 5:40 p.m. for Rockridge Route
Building 62/66: 5:57 p.m. for the Orange Route
Potter St: 5:25 p.m.
JBEI: 5:35 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 2: Limited Service
Blue Route: Every 10 minutes from BART to Bldg. 65, from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Onsite Shuttle: Departing Bldg. 65 every 10 minutes from 6:30 a.m. to 5:50 p.m. with stops at Bldgs. 90, 50/70, 46, 52, 26, 69, 77, 62/66, 74 (light signal), 48, 54, and 90.
No Orange, Green, Rockridge, Potter/JBEI or LabPorter shuttles.

Benefits: UC Retirement Readiness Workshop Tomorrow

In response to the volatility that has spread through the financial markets, the Benefits Office has scheduled a series of workshops to help employees develop investment strategies. The next one will be held tomorrow from 11:30 to 12:30 p.m. in the Building 50 Auditorium.