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A full listing of the Lab's activities is available on the

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10 a.m.
EHS 26
EH&S for Managers and Supervisors

Bldg. 70A-3377

Dance Club
Intermediate Swing
Bldg. 51 Lobby

12:15 p.m.
Yoga Club
Class with Chris Hoskins
Bldg. 70-191

1 p.m.
Berkeley Lab Institute
Excel Advanced
Bldg. 90-0026

3 p.m.
Sr2IrO4: A Mott Insulator With J=1/2
Changyoung Kim, Yonsei U., Korea
Bldg. 6-2202



7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
RedWing Shoemobile

Bldg. 51 Parking Lot

Environmental Energy Technologies
Water, Energy, and Climate Change in California

Larry Dale
Bldg. 90-3122

1 p.m.
EHS 62
WorkSmart Ergonomics

Bldg. 70A-3377

4 p.m.
Bayes vs. Frequentism: Return of an Old Controversy

Louis Lyons, Oxford U.
Bldg. 50A-5132

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spacer imageCAFETERIA MENU

Daily Specials: Jan. 14-18

Today: Hot Link Sausage, Macaroni & Cheese, Cole Slaw
Thursday: Peppered Salmon, Tempeh and Tofu Stir Fry, Brown Rice
Friday: Roasted Leg of Lamb, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans

Breakfast: 6:30 - 9:30 a.m.
Lunch: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Coffee Bar: 6:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Is Universe a Product
Of Random Fluctuation?
By Dennis Overbye


It could be the weirdest and most embarrassing prediction in the history of cosmology, if not science. If true, it would mean that you yourself reading this article are more likely to be some momentary fluctuation in a field of matter and energy out in space than a person born through billions of years of evolution in an orderly star-spangled cosmos. Welcome to what physicists call the Boltzmann brain problem, named after a 19th-century physicist who suggested the mechanism by which such fluctuations could happen in a gas or in the universe. People have their own favorite measures of probability in the multiverse, said Berkeley Lab physicist Raphael Bousso. “So Boltzmann brains are just one example of how measures can predict nonsense; anytime your measure predicts that something we see has extremely small probability, you can throw it out.” Full story.

Critics Cool to 'Smart
Thermostat' Proposal
By Charles Burress

New thermostats in homes and businesses would be fitted with technology that would allow utilities to change a building's temperature by remote control under a proposal being considered by state energy officials. Yet after a public outcry, officials with the California Energy Commission said they will change the proposed regulation so that customers would have the option of blocking outside control of their thermostats. Commissioner Arthur Rosenfeld, a physicist famed for his energy-efficiency discoveries at Berkeley Lab, said he supports changing the proposal because of the "public concern" and because he expects most consumers will agree to grant utilities the authority to control their air conditioners in emergencies. Full story.

New Wellness Program
Available as of Today

The new StayWell personal wellness program for University of California employees launches today. Welcome communication from StayWell is being mailed to eligible staff this week. Participation in the program is voluntary and free. StayWell benefits include a health assessment (with $75 gift certificate for participants) and information on health topics, drugs and nutrition. StayWell is not available to Kaiser members. Several unions at UC – AFSCME 3299, CNA, CUE, SETC, UAW 2863, UC-AFT, and UPTE-CWA – have notified the University that they are not participating in StayWell on behalf of their bargaining unit members. Go here for more information on the program.

Reimbursement Cards
Good for Three Years

Those enrolled in the UC Health Care Reimbursement Account (HCRA) program and using a SHPS spending account card should know that cards issued to you and any family members are valid for three consecutive calendar years after issuance, provided that you are enrolled in HCRA each year. Re-enrollment in HCRA must be done each year during November Open Enrollment. Those enrolled for 2007 and who re-enrolled for 2008 can continue to use the cards they were previously issued. New members to HCRA in 2008 should receive their cards by Jan. 20.


New Coordinator
For Activities Group

The Lab’s Employee Activities Association (EAA) has a new leader for 2008.  Loida Bartolome-Mingao, the Lab’s Health Care Facilitator and Wellness Coordinator, will assume the role from Arabella Schmidt. Mingao formerly served as coordinator from 2000-2002. The EAA, which is sponsored by the Lab's Human Resources Department, offers a range of cultural, educational, recreational, and social activities for Lab employees, retirees and their families.  For more information, go here.

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