Apr 19, 2007

ADCLES Communication Survey

Hi mouseketeers,
On a lighter note, blog readers with access to LANL's yellow net might want to take a moment to respond to this communications survey from the much-beloved ADCLES:
My favorite is question number seven - as if any official LANL source is more "trusted" than your fine blog? I'd love to see a write-in majority vote for "Other".
7. Where do you get most of your trusted information about what is going on? Check all that apply.
From Lab sources (e.g., Newsbulletin, LINKS, LANL-all emails)
From AD sources (e.g., Updates, all-hands, other mtgs.)
From Division sources (e.g., division-all emails, newsletters, all-hands mtgs.)
From group sources (e.g., meetings, emails)
From peers (meetings, hallway talk)
Other (please explain)

[We've heard rumors of free government cheese for those who vote "Other". Pinky and The Brain]


Anonymous said...

I get my best info at http://theonion.com.

Now, THAT's unbiased journalism, and just as accurate as the internal communication stream at LANL.

Anonymous said...

Here's a good story.


Anonymous said...

Study Finds Jack Shit
paraphrased from TheOnion.com

[Los Alamos] — A team of scientists at [Los Alamos National Laboratory] announced Monday that a five-year study examining the link between [plutonium aging and nuclear weapons] has found jack shit.

"I can't explain what happened," head researcher Dr. [Wallace] said. "We meticulously followed correct scientific procedure. Our methods were sufficiently rigorous that they should have produced some sort of result. Instead, we found out nothing."

Added [Wallace]: "Nothing!"

As [Wallace] stepped aside to compose himself, fellow researcher Dr. [Seestrom] took the podium to discuss the $[75] million jack-shit-yielding study.

"We are all very upset," [Seestrom] said. "When we began, this looked so promising, I would have bankrolled it myself. Now, after five years, I couldn't tell you if [plutonium ever changes]."

The study, which [Seestrom] characterized as a "huge waste of time and money," was financed by [NNSA] to determine the effects of [plutonium aging] on [nuclear weapons]. A [man-made element] found in [waste from nuclear reactors], [plutonium aging was assume to be the goose that would lay the golden egg and allow the nuclear weapons program to grow back to its bloated past]—a theory that remains unproven because the LANL researchers couldn't prove squat.

"We can't say zip about whether it [ages]," [Wallace] said. "We don't know if it [matters either]. Hell, we don't know if it [plutonium] form[s] an unholy alliance [with Iran that will take over the world]. At this point, I couldn't prove that a male donkey has nuts if they were swinging in my face."

When a study's results are inconclusive, a research team often asks for more time and money to finish. Such is not the case with the [LANL] project.

"No. No fucking way," [Wallace] said. "I don't know about Dr. [Seestrom], but I know that [our staff], who ha[ve] been...real trouper[s] through all of this, [are] quitting science to start a catfish farm in Louisiana. Me, I have a long date with my bed and cable TV. I may still do something in science, but if I do, it'll probably be something easy, like re-linking cigarette smoking with lung cancer, just to get my confidence back up. It's too early to say. I'll have a better idea after a month of watching the Game Show Network and eating raspberry danishes."

Ingels also spoke of Dr. [Neu], a...chemist who [contributed] the inconclusive study until lapsing into alcoholism six months ago.

"Poor [Mary] just couldn't take it," [Wallace] said. "We were all hitting the bars pretty hard once we began to see that things weren't adding up. I think [s]he took it the hardest because [s]he was the one who proposed the study in the first place. I guess [s]he was accustomed to research leading to something... anything."

In spite of the fruitless results, other researchers at [LANL] expressed confidence that, in time, some positive results can be gleaned from the study. [Wallace] has relinquished all collected data to the [government], but stressed that he will not offer any further assistance.

"You want to look over this big fat goose egg, go nuts," [Wallace] said. "I don't want to hear the word '[plutonium]' for the remainder of [2007]."

[Seestrom] then took the podium to make the team's closing statements.

"I just want to clarify that we had the best intentions going into this study," [Seestrom] said. "We thought we would make a scientific discovery about [plutonium]that would benefit the [LANL budget by] [b]illions. I guess we were wrong. We tried to find a link, but instead we found bubkes."

Anonymous said...

You all joke but Mary is going to punish the people in her directorate now. It is what she does.

Anonymous said...

Mary Neu, Mary Neu - I've heard that name a lot over the past few months. In fact, I heard that the best synthetic chemists left her Directorate and joined Sue Seastrom's, and Sue ain't no chemist. (Hell, Sue he is barely able to pull off the fact that she used to be a physicist.) I also heard that the mass exodus occurred because of fear of retribution and that she forced the former DL and DDL out of their jobs. Is any of this true? If so, why has nothing been done?

Anonymous said...

Anyone who took even a casual look at
"Stockpile Stewardship" knew what they were seeing and the ONION article adaptation would be no surprise. It's not that no one had a spine; more accurately you all saw the emperor's outfit and declared it marvelous.

Anonymous said...

9:37 - yes, it is true.

Anonymous said...

12:39 - and yes, all the emperor's new outfits are marvelous. quite the change from the frumpy old TSM days

Anonymous said...

To 10:19 PM: now she can afford the new attire. you should see what she rakes in each year. I hear it is over $200K - and that's w/o her well deserved PBI bonuses. Cream of the crap, baby!

Anonymous said...

Setting aside any snarky comments about LANL management competence, $200K is the commercial market rate for a manager overseeing the number of people that Neu is overseeing.

Standard LANL TSM rates are above market rates.

-prepares for flaming-

Anonymous said...

You guys in PADSTE seem to have some issues. Someone told me that both TJ and Helm are in Seestrom's AD office - now that's just plain funny. I can't even begin to hazard a guess as to what those guys do.

Anonymous said...

1:44, is that above market rate at the untaxed or taxed rate?

Anonymous said...

This is 1:44.

TSM salaries are above market, for which I am grateful. However, even if one is the beneficiary of above market salaries, one would be foolish not to know market rates.

Market billable rates are $125-150/hour ($250-300K/year) for comparable private institutions, so LANL was at market rate several years ago. $200/hr is charged only by real super-star companies.

The big difference is that LANL has both overhead and recharge for what are classically overhead functions. Therefore, a reasonable, if high, billable rate is inflated because the TSM has to do all of the overhead functions him/herself. So the true burdened rate is not $400K/year, but $400K/(productive year - random overhead functions). Since random overhead functions = .8-.9, the billed rate is closer to $2M-$4M.

Anonymous said...

4/22/07 1:52 PM - they do nothing, which is why Seestrum is in the process of replacing all of her office personnel with people that actually do some work. The ADEPS office is a complete disaster. ADCLES has their shit together in comparision. Kind of scary, really.

Anonymous said...

4/22/07 1:44 PM, "$200K is the commercial market rate for a manager overseeing the number of people that Neu is overseeing."

Sure, but the market should also know better than to hire someone at that level whose sum total management experience consisted of a part-time Deputy Group Leader gig and a few month's rotational assignment as Terry Wallace's acting deputy ADSR.

Anonymous said...

12:45 pm - right on. Usually, people get paid the big bucks because they have the credentials. For example, the new AD from INEEL. Now there is someone with experience. The AD for CLES - not so much!