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InTheLoop | 11.27.2006

The weekly electronic newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences employees

November 27, 2006

Members of SciDAC Visualization and Analytics Project Win Honors

Two members of the Visualization and Analytics Center for Enabling Technologies (VACET), established this year under DOE's Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) program, were recognized for their contributions to the IEEE Visualization 2006 conference held earlier this month in Baltimore.

Valerio Pascucci of LLNL was a co-author of “Understanding the Structure of the Turbulent Mixing Layer in Hydrodynamic Instabilities,” which received the Best Application Paper award. Berkeley Lab's Wes Bethel, co-leader of VACET, was a member of the panel discussion on “Is There Science in Visualization?” which was given the Best Panel award.

The IEEE Visualization Conference is the premier forum for visualization advances in science and engineering for academia, government, and industry. This event brings together researchers and practitioners with a shared interest in techniques, tools, and technology.

NERSC Storage System Providing Support to Space Sciences Lab

NERSC's mass storage system has become a vault for the radio signal data collected by the giant Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico. The data are part of a project to study and look for signs of extraterrestrial civilizations, black holes and pulsars. Headed by Dan Werthimer at UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Lab, the project is scheduled to deposit 200 terabytes of data over two years in NERSC's High Performance Storage System. Find out more about Werthimer's research, which includes the well-known SETI@home project, by checking out the November edition of NERSC News at http://www.nersc.gov/news/nerscnews/NERSCNews_2006_11.pdf.

'Tis the Season to Be Careful, Especially When Climbing Ladders

With the holiday season now in full swing, the Home Safety Council has issued a news release aimed at the four out of five U.S. households which, a survey found, plan to use ladders around their homes to prepare for the holidays. About 150,000 ladder-related injuries are reported each year, so safe use of ladders is important both at home and at work.

The survey, conducted for the Home Safety Council and Werner Ladder, found that of those who plan to decorate for the holidays, 70 percent admitted they don't follow good safety procedures when decorating, and 82 percent reported climbing on chairs, counters, shelves or other pieces of furniture when decorating for the holidays. Of those surveyed:

  • 52 percent work on uneven ground when decorating outside
  • 47 percent reach further than they should when decorating around windows
  • 38 percent decorate outside after dark
  • 36 percent stand on the top two steps
  • 36 percent string lights while they are plugged in and using an aluminum ladder, which conducts electricity
  • 22 percent surveyed drink alcohol when using ladders to decorate for the holidays.

To reduce the risks of falls and other ladder-related injuries, follow these ladder safety tips from Werner Ladder and the Home Safety Council:

  • Inspect your ladder carefully — look for missing or damaged components, and make sure all working parts move properly. Never use a damaged ladder.
  • Read (and heed) the safety instructions and warnings you find on the ladder.
  • Place the ladder on level ground and open it completely, making sure all locks are engaged.
  • Do not overreach — keep your body centered on the ladder and gauge your safety by your belt buckle. If your buckle passes beyond the ladder rail, you are overreaching and at risk of falling.
  • Never imbibe when using the ladder to decorate — steer clear of ladders if you've indulged in holiday cheer.
  • Don't stand above the highest safe standing level. For a stepladder, the safe standing level is the second rung from the top, and for an extension ladder, it's the fourth rung from the top.
  • Hold the ladder with one hand while working with the other. You should always have “three points of contact” with the ladder.
  • Place the extension ladder top so both rails are fully supported, with at least 12 inches of support area on each side of the ladder.

For more information on ladder safety, go to http://www.wernerladder.com/safety/dos.php.

About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) Computing Sciences organization provides the computing and networking resources and expertise critical to advancing the Department of Energy's research missions: developing new energy sources, improving energy efficiency, developing new materials and increasing our understanding of ourselves, our world and our universe.

ESnet, the Energy Sciences Network, provides the high-bandwidth, reliable connections that link scientists at 40 DOE research sites to each other and to experimental facilities and supercomputing centers around the country. The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) powers the discoveries of 7,000-plus scientists at national laboratories and universities, including those at Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division (CRD). CRD conducts research and development in mathematical modeling and simulation, algorithm design, data storage, management and analysis, computer system architecture and high-performance software implementation. NERSC and ESnet are Department of Energy Office of Science User Facilities.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world's most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab's scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the DOE’s Office of Science.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.