Relevant science text from Supplemental Spending Act of 2008

As inspired by the comment from ChemMan, here are the relevant excerpts from HR2642 for science:

“National Science Foundation

research and related activities

    For an additional amount for `Research and Related
    Activities’, $22,500,000, of which $5,000,000 shall be available solely
    for activities authorized by section 7002(b)(2)(A)(iv) of Public Law

education and human resources

    For an additional amount for `Education and Human Resources’, $40,000,000: Provided,
    That of the amount provided, $20,000,000 shall be available for
    activities authorized by section 10 of the National Science Foundation
    Authorization Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 1862n-1) and $20,000,000 shall be
    available for activities authorized by section 10A of the National
    Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 1862n-1a).





    For an additional amount for `Science’, $62,500,000, to remain available until expended.

NASA also received $62.5M (a common number here!) for space exploration.

I can’t reconcile this sum – 2×62.5 + 40 + 22.5 = $187.5M – with the “$400M” number being bounced around in the press.

Science Supplemental Spending Passes Congress

It was a long road, but the Congress has now approved the Iraq war spending bill. Both houses have now approved the final version of the spending bill, which presumably goes to the President for either a veto or a signature. News sources [1] [2] report that the bill contains a total of $400 million for science programs, including $62.5 for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

If anyone can find the breakdown of the remaining $337.5 million, I’d be curious.

[1] U.S. Senate approves funding bill for Fermilab
[2] Fermilab gets funding boost from U.S. House

I remember libraries

Recently, SLAC cleaned out its library and moved to new digs in a nearby building. I walked past the old space today while working with some colleagues in the same building. At first, I turned past the old library space and headed for the exit. The emptiness of the space caught my attention, and so I decided to turn and snap a photo. I know the library has just moved, but it feels like it’s just gone. My first cubicle at SLAC was just one floor down from the library; it used to be my respite from my boss, a quiet place to catch up on journals or periodicals, or just nap in the corner.

I have yet to check out the new space; I do know that this hallway will never be the same.

Go Firefox!

Firefox 3 is officially released today (get your copy at To top it, Mozilla is going for a Guinness record on the most downloads of a single piece of software in one day. You can pledge to participate in this and then download a copy; you have until about mid-day on Jan. 18 (Pacific Time).

I’ve been holding off using this. Ever since I upgraded to Ubuntu 8.04 (THE FIGHTING HERON!), I’ve held back. This was largely for the same reason that other people have done this: extensions. These little plugins for firefox, which make it powerful, also mean you have to be patient if you want your favorites to work with a new version of the browser. My “can’t live without them” favorites are Zotero (, which I use to organize and find scientific papers, and Scribefire (, which is how I usually edit this blog. I refuse to use a Firefox that doesn’t have these.

So I held off. Until today, that is. Zotero and Scribefire are fully compatible with Firefox 3, and so here I am!

I’ll have to run it for a while before I can form an opinion about FF3. Tech experts claim the memory usage of the application is vastly improved, in size and speed, making the browser less of a hog and consequently much faster. We’ll see. But so long as I have my extensions, I’ll use FF3.