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Vol. LIX, No. 10
May 18, 2007

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Role for Retired Scientists, Engineers

If you are interested in learning how retired scientists and engineers are contributing to the science literacy of our K-8 students, you are invited to a May 31 luncheon briefing on the American Association for the Advancement of Science/Senior Scientists and Engineers volunteer project with the Montgomery County Public Schools. Several volunteers will describe their experiences in the project, now in its second year. The volunteers’ contributions, as evaluated by teachers, will be presented by Anita O’Neill, MCPS science supervisor.

The briefing starts at 10:30 a.m. in the Abelson/Haskins Room at AAAS headquarters, 1200 New York Ave., NW. All retired scientists and engineers in the Washington area are invited. RSVP to If you are interested in the program, but cannot attend, send an inquiry to the same address.

NLM Seeking Web Site Evaluators

The Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications (LHNCBC) at the National Library of Medicine is seeking people interested in evaluating a web site developed by LHNCBC. Feedback received from evaluators will help LHNCBC develop easy-to-use web interfaces. Participants will be asked to spend 1 hour using a web site on the Bethesda campus at NIH. Federal employees, contractors, students and senior citizens who can travel to NIH are encouraged to respond. Participants who do not use NLM’s public databases on a regular basis are particularly needed. Although no monetary compensation can be offered, evaluators will receive a small gift for their time. Contact for more information.

Adhere to Travel Card Rules, Regs

NIH employees who use the government contractor-issued travel charge card are reminded of the need to follow all rules and regulations. Failure to do so could result in disciplinary action, including loss of card privileges.

For example, the card should never be used for personal, non-official services outside the realm of travel. In addition, some staff continue to purchase their travel services directly from a vendor, e.g. an airline, instead of going through the NIH Travel Management Center (Omega)—another example of misuse of the card, according to Joel Papier, assistant to the director for policy, Office of Financial Management. Another frequently cited error is cardholders failing to pay account balances within a 60-day period. This could cause one’s account to be suspended.

More information regarding the “do’s and don’ts” of using the travel card is contained in OFM Transmittal Number 280 and at For further assistance, contact your IC travel card coordinator.

Cartoon Medice ShowCartoon Medicine Show Back at NLM by Popular Demand

At the beginning of the 20th century, four seemingly unrelated concepts transformed our once dreary, unsanitary, disease-ridden world: proper hygiene, regular medical checkups, public relations and animated cartoons. Medical officials (along with hawkers of toothpaste and soap) were eager to persuade the public to heed their professional recommendations by deploying cartoons featuring balloon-headed characters. And so it was that in the 1920s a young Walt Disney would animate a dancing toothbrush and cavity-producing “acid demons.”

Now, by popular demand, Disney’s dental cartoons, along with other rare health cartoons, will once again be presented in The Cartoon Medicine Show: Rare Animated Cartoons from the Collection of the National Library of Medicine (see NIH Record, Apr. 6, 2007). The program (previously screened in a longer version at both the National Academy of Sciences and NLM) will be shown in two installments: cartoons from 1922 to 1945 on Wednesday, June 13 and cartoons from 1946 to 1965 on Thursday, June 14. Both screenings will be held from noon to 1 p.m. at the Lister Hill Center, Bldg. 38A. Admission is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. To RSVP (and get more info), contact Melanie Modlin, or (301) 496-5389.

NIH Director’s Awards Ceremony, June 13

All employees are invited to the 2007 NIH Director’s Awards ceremony on Wednesday, June 13 at noon in the Natcher Bldg. main auditorium. Awards will be presented in five categories: Director’s Award, Mentoring Award, Director’s Award for the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research, Commissioned Corps awards and EEO awards. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign language interpreters will be provided. A reception will be held after the ceremony in the Natcher cafeteria. Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation to participate in the event should contact (301) 435-1619 or
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Fire Department Responds to Smoke Emergency at Bldg. 37
Just before 7 p.m. on Apr. 23, the NIH Fire Department responded to a report of smoke coming from the roof of Bldg. 37. The units found the building operating under emergency power and saw smoke at the roof line. Capt. Ed Gotthardt coordinated the NIH response and assistance was requested from Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad and the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service. The smoke (investigated at right by Kipp Rule, fire technician) turned out to be exhaust from an emergency diesel generator that started automatically due to the power failure. The power outage temporarily left several people stuck in elevators. Responders, including Master Fire Fighter Allen James (donning gear below), freed them and building maintenance personnel worked to restore power. The power failure was caused by an electrical short in a high-voltage panel, causing minimal damage to the building. The incident was over by 9:15 p.m. and power was restored the next afternoon.
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Redskins QB Visits Children’s Inn
Washington Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell visited youngsters at the Children’s Inn recently as part of a year-long partnership with Comcast SportsNet. He challenged kids to video-game competitions, signed autographs and posed for photographs. At right, Campbell meets with admirers Jessica Dahlgren (in the NIH sweatshirt), 11, and MaKenzie Muehler, 13. Below, 2-year-old Isaac Barchus sits on Campbell’s lap.
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NCI Launches en Español

On Apr. 2, the National Cancer Institute launched its new Spanish-language web site, en español. The site is tailored to meet the online cancer information needs of Latinos in the U.S. from both cultural and linguistic perspectives. The site also addresses common myths and beliefs, such as the view that cancer, in general, cannot be treated successfully. This myth is a barrier to screening and treatment in the Latino community. NCI hopes the information on the site will help overcome this and other barriers.

The web site’s pages are organized around the issues of greatest interest and concern to Latinos in the U.S., based on results of surveys and focus groups. The site also features information about accessing support and resources in the community and testimonials from Latinos about the entire cancer continuum, encompassing screening, prevention, detection and diagnosis, treatment and survivorship. There are peer-reviewed information summaries for both health professionals and patients on more than 100 different cancer-related topics and a dictionary that includes nearly 5,000 terms and definitions in both Spanish and English. NCI will continue to test and enhance the site to ensure it meets the information needs of Latinos in the U.S.

The Spanish web site is one more NCI resource designed to help reach and provide information to minority communities. It complements existing NCI resources such as the Cancer Information Service (1-800-4-CANCER), which provides information about cancer in Spanish and English to telephone callers. Visit en español at and share this resource with your colleagues, friends and family.

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Geese Make Home at NIH

The Bldg. 31 loading dock is home to this nesting pair of Canada geese (Branta canadensis). The male (l) hisses a warning to anyone who crowds the nest, which, at press time, held 6 eggs. Below, he stands sentry (r) as his mate stretches her legs. With her black head and neck and white “chinstrap,” she is almost identical to the gander. Most couples remain together for life and both parents protect the nest during incubation, which lasts around 4 weeks. From the balcony of the Bldg. 31 cafeteria, you can see the nest, but don’t get too close: the male can be very aggressive defending his turf. Expect goslings by June.

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