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Meetings: Organizers & Attendees Reginald Harris, then Director of the Biological Laboratory, initiated the first Symposium in 1933. Today over 8,000 scientists come to the laboratory each year to attend meetings. What special moments do you recall from your participation in or organization of these meetings?

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Old 01-14-2004, 11:03 AM
Jonathan Parsons Jonathan Parsons is offline
Location: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 2
Default Computers and the Yeast Cell Biology Blackout 2003

A quarter after 7-- I arrived at the lab to try to figure out what to do for the presentation that was planned for that day's Yeast Cell Biology Meeting…considering we did not have lights. I found out that we had a generator at 7:30 when a facilities worker said he could get us one line, the rest would be needed to power the computers downstairs which they also wanted to get up- so they could only give us one line to run the show and we were able to plug in a six strip and we multiplied this by plugging in another six strip and using this we turned on all the computers, projectors, the sound system and with that one line we also made a copy of the presentation on DVD. We were able to run a whole show off of that one power line. We knew there was a limit but we did not know exactly where it fell... we hooked in many circuit breakers hoping that the line would cut out if it was drawing too much power before it affected the whole generator.

Last edited by Angela Cornwell : 02-03-2006 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 02-03-2006, 11:12 AM
AVStaff AVStaff is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 0

But the next day there was still no power and I thought, Ill come in, and I come to Grace and there are attendees standing in the dark with their presentations. I said “I don’t expect anyone to be here”….and I got here and I see four or five people standing in the dark and I said "you have to be patient because as you can see we are in a blackout". But we got going and two electricians took a generator which is out here [behind Grace] and they took two huge cables which ran from the generator through the door… I mean you got to commend these men. Here it was 8 o’clock and they already had these cables and they ran these two cables with these boxes on them and each box had 4 outlets on it. Well, they ran the cables through here and they said "I’m giving you these cables but this is all I have". Meanwhile the attendees are standing here. So we unplugged the projector, the computer and everything that is plugged into the wall and attached everything instead into the circuits and everything came on. The only thing that did not come on were the house lights so we were working in the dark in here. I thought, this thing [lecture] isn’t going to start till 11 o’clock. But the power for the audio and the power for everything worked. I was surprised because everybody loaded up [their presentations] in the dark. No one panicked. The meetings always start at 9 and it was ten minutes after 9 and I heard “welcome to this morning’s meeting.” There was only a ten minute delay and we got everything up and running without anyone batting an eye. It went without a hitch. No one knew what had been going on and by 12 the power came back on.
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Old 02-03-2006, 11:14 AM
Edward Campodonico Edward Campodonico is offline
Location: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 2

It was a series of people doing good things, like the electricians managed to wrangle up fuel to run the generator and we had no idea we could do this and when we were running the meeting we said “please everything stay on.” But it was nice in the dark — kind of romantic.

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