Fermi National Laboratory

Volume 22  |  Friday, September 3, 1999  |  Number 17
In This Issue  |  FermiNews Main Page

Recycling, the great leveler

Whether arranged neatly or in cluttering clumps, paper is the common denominator of offices everywhere. Wilson Hall, the 16-story administrative heart of Fermilab, is no exception.

In keeping with its historical environmental consciousness--most evident in the abundant wildlife and restored prairie lands of its 6,800-acre site--Fermilab has begun a new effort in tackling the paper piles in an environmentally sound way. Offices in Wilson Hall now feature three color-coded disposal bins: one for conventional trash and garbage (such as food wrappers), and two for paper recycling. Separate receptacles, near the elevators on each floor, are the preferred destinations for cardboard boxes, which must be broken down before being tossed.

The recent memo explaining the system included several examples of the kinds of paper recyclable in the two paper categories. White Paper is pretty straightforward: white printing and duplicating paper, white notebook and scratch paper.

Colored paper, newspapers, magazines, file folders, engineering drawings, telephone books, and envelopes, with or without windows, were all listed in the category of Mixed Paper (Junk Mail), which also cited a specific example for glossy paper: FERMINEWS.

As they say, today's news is tomorrow's recyclable.

by Mike Perricone

The Couture of Particle Physics, or

Who You Callin' Scruffy?

"Physicists, I concluded, have an image problem. For too long we have neglected our own shabby appearance..."

From a letter to Physics Today, July 1998, by Jeremy Levy of the University of Pittsburgh

"Physicists often get into the habit of looking somewhat scruffy..." Malcolm Browne, "Scruffy Is Badge of Pride, but Some

Physicists Long for Cool," The New York Times, July 21, 1998

"My ambition is to live to see all of physics reduced to a formula so elegant and simple that it will fit easily on the front of a t-shirt." Leon Lederman, in "The God Particle."

When the ultimate t-shirt moment arrives for the Theory of Everything, Fermilab will be ready. We may not have the formula, but we do have the t-shirts. We're wearing them. Elegant and simple -- the dernier cri in fashion at the energy frontier. Indeed, late summer attire in this fin de siècle season at America's forefront laboratory for particle physics includes a multitude of variations on the timeless t-shirt theme. These classic knitted garments are being worn in every shade from dazzling white right through the (visible) spectrum, many exquisitely emblazoned with logos of the world's trendiest physics conferences.

The fashion craze that took the particle world by storm this summer featured the soignée look of Hawaiian shirts every Friday. The legions of fashion-savvy summer students who, each June, descend on Fermilab from the nation's university physics departments started the trend; and by July, island-inspired rayon was showing up on stylish backs throughout the laboratory.

Very now, very "in": les blue jeans and le polo in the control rooms and detector halls that embody particle chic at Fermilab, although a daring few at fashion's cutting edge are turning up (and turning heads!) in khaki shorts, a retro look harking back to late last month.

Cotton shirts in plaids and stripes are also très hot just now, with sleeves cropped daringly just above the elbow, and two tiny buttons, one at each tip of the collar. We're seeing them neatly tucked in, for a pulled-together effect, or hanging loose at the waist, as a daring statement of je ne sais quoi. As autumn's chill advances, we predict a move toward flannel, where again, vibrant plaids will predominate, following a fashion trail blazed by the style cognoscenti of the laboratory's Technical Division over the last 25 years.

As always in the chi-chi world of high-energy physics, accessories make the outfit. The pager, most often in elegant matte black, turns up clipped to belts or peeking out of a pocket. Are those Palm Pilots we've spotted accessorizing the avant garde in the Computing Division? And, with the timeless elegance of a perfect strand of pearls, the pocket protector never goes out of Fermilab fashion.

What of the well-turned-out foot this year in quark country? Socks with sandals are making quite a splash, with socks in white, to coordinate with t-shirts. Steel-toed shoes are still very big, for a rugged, industrial-chic effect. Poolside, dark socks with wingtips, worn with simple trunks and a towel, impart an exotic eastern-European flavor to prairieland physics gatherings.

And watch for these: The Occam's Razor cut, the long, streaming lines of the red shift, and, for the long-term future, the theory-of-everything t-shirt, elegant and simple--our picks for the ultimate in physics fashion. You heard it here.

by Judy Jackson

And the prize for the summer's best crop of sunflowers goes to...

...the Fermilab Fire Department, for the fourth year in a row, for the stunning 1999 crop produced by Fermilab firefighter Chris Williams. In 1996, aesthetic considerations prompted Williams to add sunflowers to the horticultural mix in firefighter John Babinec's Fire Department vegetable garden. The garden flourishes each year along one wall of the Fermilab firehouse, pumping out peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers for fire-department consumption. The sunflowers thrived at the firehouse, and Williams never looked back. Now, in early September 1999, at more than 10 feet tall, the sunflowers tower over the firefighters, practically requiring a hook and ladder to see them. Could it be the buffalo chips in the soil?

by Judy Jackson


last modified 9/3/1999   email Fermilab